Local Va Beach Fisherman Captain "Pat Foster" and Mate "Adrian Colaprete" of the "Wave Runner" charter fishing boat rescue endangered species of Northern Right Whale.
They were off the coast of Virginia Beach yesterday about 50 miles out helping a team of scientists conduct research studies offshore. Pat spotted a whale swimming irregularly in the distance and decided to have a closer look. The team identified the whale as a endangered species of the Northern Right Whale and noted the whale was in serious danger. The whale was tangled in some sort of fishing ropes or trap line and was slowly dragging the line of traps behind it.
Pat and Adrian decided they would have to try and assess the situation a little further and find out if they could do something to help the whale. After patterning the whales movements the team decided Adrian would get in the water with the whale and take a closer look. When Adrian swam up to the whale he sensed the whale was welcoming his help and he made the decision to cut the rope tangling the whale to the traps. After the rope was cut the traps sank to the bottom of the ocean and the whale swam away free.
It's a happy ending to an amazing fish story!
Right whales are the rarest of all large whales. There are several species of Right Whales and they are identified by enormous heads.
Right whales were named by whalers who identified them as the "right" whale to kill on a hunt. These leviathans had enormous value for their plentiful oil and baleen, which were used for corsets, buggy whips, and other contrivances. Because of their thick blubber, right whales also float accommodatingly after they have been killed. Populations of these whales were decimated during the whaling heydays of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. During this period they came close to extinction.
Because females do not become sexually mature until ten years of age and give birth to a single calf after a yearlong pregnancy, populations grow slowly.
All species of right whales are endangered and have enjoyed complete international protection since 1949.
Northern right whales are the most endangered of all large whales. They number only several hundred, and populations do not appear to have grown in the decades since their protection began.