HYANNIS – Areas off the coast of Massachusetts slated for wind energy projects have also shown to be new areas of import for the endangered Right Wales.
Survey data collected over the last decade shows increased number of whales travelling through the Massachusetts and Rhode Island wind energy areas.
Whales were identified by distinctive markings found in aerial photos.
The study showed about a third of the population making significant use of the area.
Reproductive female use of the area is also of high importance as one of the reasons for the declining numbers that the species has faced is a reduction in calving rates.
Researchers fear that vessel traffic, construction, and habitat alteration could negatively affect the whales, and say that measures taken to mitigate these effects are crucial.
NOAA Fisheries, along with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be monitoring the situation to ensure everything is in compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
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