2007 Condition Report
with Tanker - WCNE & SBNMS - SBNMS file photo (taken under NOAA
Fisheries Permit # 981-1707-00)
including these humpbacks, feed in sanctuary waters despite the
fact that large ships are an ever-present threat. An effort led
by the sanctuary has potentially reduced the threat of ship strikes
by moving the Boston shipping lanes (Traffic Separation Scheme)
several miles northward to an area with an historically lower
whale sightings record.
Shipwreck windlass with nets - Matthew Lawrence, SBNMS - SBNMS
fishing occurs in much of the sanctuary, resulting in the entanglement
of maritime heritage resources. The net entangling the windlass
from the coal schooner Paul Palmer was removed during a
sanctuary resource protection/diver safety mission last fall.
Other net-draped wrecks in deeper parts of the sanctuary present
entanglement threats to remotely operated vehicles, preventing
close inspection and complete documentation.
Invertebrates and cunner - Tane Casserley, NOAA - SBNMS file
habitats support a wide diversity of marine life, including colorful
collections of invertebrates. Some of these invertebrates attach
to hard substrate, like this shipwreck, or to rocks on the seafloor.
Different species in mud or sand habitats may burrow into the
sediments. This three-dimensional structure provides areas where
juvenile fish can find shelter and adds to the productivity of
Sponges and other invertebrates - Deborah Marx, SBNMS - SBNMS
biodiversity is one of the cornerstones of the sanctuary program.
Here, a variety of sponges and other invertebrates provide colorful
cover for other species in the sanctuary.
Diver cutting net from wreck - Matthew Lawrence, SBNMS - SBNMS
present a threat to shipwrecks and other historical resources
on the seafloor. Fishing operations can pull wrecks apart, while
entangled nets, not only offer threats to marine life, divers,
and underwater equipment, but can wear away at the wrecks themselves.
The sanctuary is initiating a variety of programs to remove derelict
gear from within its boundaries and threatening its resources.
Palmer-Crary side scan image - NURC-UConn and SBNMS - SBNMS
site of the shipwrecks Frank A. Palmer and Louise B.
Crary has been named to the National Register of Historic
Places. These shipwrecks provide maritime archaeologists with
the opportunity to learn more about our sea-going past. Protecting
these maritime heritage resources is an important goal of the
Whale Feeding - Anne Smrcina, SBNMS - SBNMS file photo
humpback whale feeds on schools of small fish. The sanctuary is
one of the world's premiere sites for nature viewing, with an
estimated visitation of approximately one million whale watchers
a year. The World Wildlife Fund listed the area as one of its
Top Ten sites for viewing whales and the readers of Offshore Magazine
voted it the #1 location for wildlife watching in the northeast.