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Harbor Porpoise Rescue

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Close Encounter
Photograph by Heather Perry

Photographer Bill Curtsinger (in red swim fins) gets a rare close-up of a harbor porpoise trapped in a herring weir off Grand Manan Island in Canada's Bay of Fundy. With the help of local fishermen, researchers use a special seine within the weir to capture and release the trapped animals. In the early 1990s throughout the Gulf of Maine as many as 3,000 of the marine mammals died each year—mostly in gill nets, with about a hundred in weirs. This prompted conservation groups to call for greater protection of the species. With the decline in gillnetting in the northwestern Atlantic and the success of the herring-weir release project—launched by the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station—population estimates for harbor porpoises in the Gulf of Maine region have doubled during the past decade to around 90,000.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon N90s
Film Type: Fujichrome 100F
Lens: 200mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/25 @ f/11

Weather Conditions: Bright and sunny
Time of Day: Midday
Lighting Techniques: Natural light
Special Equipment or Comments: From his boat, I was able to grab this shot of Bill shooting in between changing rolls in his housings for him.

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