Whale populations are at risk as rising temperatures drive them closer to shore.
The heat, believed to be the result of climate change, has driven plankton, and consequently whales closer to US borders.
As increased sightings are reported in the New England area and beyond, whale populations are at risk of injury or death.
With ‘especially warm’ weather this year, whales drawn close to the shore in search of food are at an increased risk of being hurt by boats, or fishing gear.
This was the case for the 32-year-old humpback who was tangled in a fishing net near the Isles of Shoals August 30 – and perhaps for a second humpback discovered dead near Nova Scotia this week, entangled in some kind of rope.
In order to avoid collisions, New England Aquarium spokesperson Tony LaCasse advises that boaters turn off their engines and allow whales to pass them by.