North Atlantic right whales are on the brink of extinction 

North Atlantic right whales may be on the brink of extinction.

Today, there are only 450 of these majestic creatures left in the world, and this year, no new calves were born. 

At least 17 of the creatures died last year - a record death toll - with most of them dying after becoming tangled in fishing equipment. 

Now scientists say the creatures are facing an 'unprecedented calamity' as their numbers continue to fall.  

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North Atlantic right whale's are critically-endangered and could be one step closer to permanent extinction. This year no babies were born which has been called 'unprecedented' by experts

North Atlantic right whale's are critically-endangered and could be one step closer to permanent extinction. This year no babies were born which has been called 'unprecedented' by experts

The whales reproduce between November and February every year and, on average, 17 calves are born. But last year, this number dropped to 5, and this year there were none. 

Of the animals that are currently alive, only 100 are females of reproductive age. 

'At the rate we are killing them off, this 100 females will be gone in 20 years,' said Mark Baumgartner, a marine ecologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

Charles Mayo, director of the Right Whale Ecology Program at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Massachusetts said that if there really are no babies found, it would be 'unprecedented'. 

'I think we're in a helluva pickle,' he told the New York Times. 

North Atlantic right whales can live up to 70 years old in captivity, but many are perishing long before they reach that age. 

With only 450 animals left in the world and the current rate they are being killed by fishing nets, the population of North Atlantic right whales could be functionally extinct in 20 years 

With only 450 animals left in the world and the current rate they are being killed by fishing nets, the population of North Atlantic right whales could be functionally extinct in 20 years 

The main culprit for the vast amount of deaths is the commercial fishing industry.

Crab and lobster trapping is

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