Right whales get safe haven off east coast of Canada, baby orcas high in PBDEs
The International Maritime Organization has approved a proposal to designate a 695-square-mile zone off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, an official Area to Be Avoided, hoping to lower the risk of ship collisions with endangered right whales that tend to congregate there from June through December. However, avoiding the zone is voluntary so ship captains who brave the ATBA risk only the ire of the 400 or so remaining whales — and maybe a handful of enviros. Meanwhile, on the other side of North America, some baby orcas in Washington state’s Puget Sound were found to be more flame resistant than older orcas. The youngsters had nearly twice the level of the flame retardants PBDEs in their systems than their elders; PBDEs can cause thyroid impairment in marine mammals.