North Atlantic right whales are on the verge of extinction – and we humans remain the biggest threat to their survival. Scientists are clear: We can’t afford to lose even one whale a year due to human causes if this critically endangered species is to recover. Collisions with boats and ships are one of those… Continue reading Special Interests Aim to Sink Regulations Protecting Endangered Right Whales
We analyzed two sectors of the commercial lobster fishery to determine what it will cost to transition to ropeless gear.
A colorful bobbing buoy is an iconic part of New England’s visual identity, a symbol of fresh-caught seafood and days spent by the water. But all those buoys can pose a danger to marine life. The thick vertical lines that connect buoys to lobster traps on the seafloor can entangle whales, causing grievous injuries and… Continue reading The Truth about Ropeless Fishing Gear
“Since 2017, at least 95 critically endangered right whales have been killed or injured by preventable human causes. Yet nothing has been done to reduce deadly vessel strikes. Right whales have been on this planet for millions of years and we are at risk of losing this entire species because of bureaucratic red tape. That cannot be allowed to continue.”
“A newborn calf spends most of the first few months of its life on the surface with its mother,” said Erica Fuller, senior attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “Given that these whales are tough to see under the best of circumstances, slowing boats down is the only way to prevent collisions like those that have killed whales, injured people, and caused major vessel damage in the past.”
“This downward spiral must be stopped,” said Erica Fuller, Senior Attorney at CLF. “It’s time to put meaningful protections in place so whales are no longer needlessly killed by boats and fishing gear. The federal government needs to step up and do what’s right. Critically endangered right whales can recover, we just need to give them a chance.”
“Given the glacial pace of new right whale protections over the last decade, immediately curtailing the second biggest threat to their existence would be a game-changer,” said Erica Fuller, senior attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “This proposed rule is a major step forward, but there’s a five-month gap in protection south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket that should be addressed. Federal officials must now get these protections in place on the water as quickly as possible and effectively enforce them.”
“With an extinction crisis unfolding in real-time, this decision is necessary for the recovery of North Atlantic right whales,” said Erica Fuller, senior attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “The fact is, this area wasn’t chosen at random. It’s an area where science showed a deadly trifecta of dense lobster gear, heavy lines, and whales for a few months of the year. The court made the right call in reaffirming the decision, which will have a significant impact on this dwindling whale population.”
More than three generations of North Atlantic right whales have been lost to the threat of entanglement. The solutions to save these vulnerable species exist and it is up to us to ask our leader for better protections for these majestic animals.
North Atlantic right whales are fascinating, majestic creatures. Get to know some remarkable facts about this critically endangered species.