A group of scientists, conservationists and others is meeting in Massachusetts to brainstorm strategies to save one of the rarest marine mammals on the planet.
It's the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium's annual meeting, and it's wrapping up on Thursday at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford. The right whales number only about 440 and have suffered from high mortality and poor reproduction in recent years.
The meeting began on Wednesday. The agenda includes sessions about everything from the summertime occurrence of the whales in the Bay of Fundy to changes in the abundance of the tiny organisms they need to eat to survive.
The whales are vulnerable to accidental deaths caused by ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. They appear off of New England's coast every spring.