Treehouse Lodge is deeply concerned about the crisis facing whales in our oceans today, especially the North Atlantic Right Whale which is on the endangered list with only about 450 known survivors. Last year, no new right whale calves were born.
We are located close to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, an important whale breeding ground off of Cape Cod. Many Treehouse Lodge guests enjoy whale watching cruises in the summertime using our whale watch special. We also host scientists from around the world visiting Woods Hole for ocean science research of all kinds, so our interest in this topic is natural and heartfelt.
Our neighbors at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are studying issues that effect ocean life and the viability of all whales. While hunting whales continues, by far the greatest current threat for whales is entanglement. Right whales dive for zooplankton and krill with their wide mouths of baleen, but increasingly this natural behavior gets them tangled in plastics, ropes and fishing gear. Once weighed down, they suffer infections, exhaustion and frequent death. Rescuers have sometimes managed to clear the lines from their mouths, but even if they are found in time, it is challenging to get close to these massive mammals. Check out this compelling video of a whale rescue in Baja California, but know that it often does not end this well.
WHOI is known for research and engineering solutions to exploring ocean life and they have engineered a breakaway lobster trap which is “whale safe.” While not yet popular with lobster fisherman, you can read more about this inovative solution in Oceanus Magazine, a WHOI publication.
At Treehouse Lodge, we seek to support solutions with a contest soon to be announced on our Facebook and Instagram pages. For each entry into our contest, we will donate $3 to the ongoing research at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. So follow along there, and together we will continue to understand whales, with the hope of saving them.