Having a Whale of a Time This Week in Portsmouth

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Blue Ocean Society in Portsmouth is home to a full-size model fin whale.

As local fishermen meet with scientists in Portsmouth, a local environmental group is doing its part to educate people about whales.

I’m Roger Wood for IndepthNH.org. Northeast Delta Dental provides underwriting and sponsorship, and you can click on their ad on our website for more information about their programs.

The experts and fishermen are discussing, in a four-day workshop at the Sheraton Harborside, the issue of whale entanglement. The International Whaling Commission estimates more than 300,000 whales and dolphins die every year after getting tangled up in fishing gear. Others wind up with large lacerations.

Meanwhile, the Blue Ocean Society, based in Portsmouth, has been leading whale watches for years, taking people out to view and study them. Jen Kennedy, executive director, is now providing a full size model fin whale that inflates and lets students and others inside to study its anatomy. Roger Wood spoke to her outside their headquarters on Pleasant Street in Portsmouth.

The International Conference in Portsmouth is being held by several organizations, with attendees from the U.S. and other countries. They agree that entanglement is a problem, but fishermen at the conference say they are wary of any new regulations that might restrict fishing.

For InDepthNH.org, I’m Roger Wood.