Jul 29, 2022

Federal Proposal Aims to Protect Endangered Right Whales From Ship Strikes

“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.”

Jul 12, 2022

Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Right Whales Seasonal Protection

“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.” 

Nov 24, 2021

Progress on the Road to Ropeless Fishing Gear

Learn how transitioning to ropeless fishing gear offers an alternative that could recover right whales and preserve the livelihood of New England’s iconic lobstermen and women.

Ropeless fishing right whale NOAA
Nov 16, 2021

Court Reinstates Gulf of Maine Lobstering Restriction to Protect Endangered Right Whales

“Reducing entanglements by prohibiting fishing in this area is critical to ensuring the survival of right whales,” said Erica Fuller, a senior attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “This decision affirms that science matters. The First Circuit got it right: entanglements often can’t be traced, so where whales, lots of lines, and heavy fishing lines coincide, we need fishing restrictions now.”

Right whale names - a north atlantic right whale sag with four whales interacting
Nov 12, 2021

Court Rejects Federal Attempt to Sink Right Whale Ship Strike Lawsuit

“At this juncture, the fact NMFS hasn’t already addressed deaths due to vessel collisions is beyond incomprehensible,” said Erica Fuller, a senior attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “We hope this will force the agency to take emergency action rather than wait until next spring to start a new rule-making process. That kind of delay does little to protect the moms traveling up and down the coast now.”

North Atlantic right whales help our climate and make our ocean more resilient. We must push for better protections to protect our valuable partners in this fight. Photo: NOAA
Oct 25, 2021

North Atlantic Right Whale Population at Historic Low

“We cannot allow this downward spiral to continue,” said Erica Fuller, Senior Attorney at CLF. “Like the now extinct passenger pigeon, scientists are getting better and better at counting fewer and fewer whales. It’s time to stop pointing fingers and put meaningful protections in place so whales are no longer needlessly killed by boats and fishing gear. Right whales can recover; we just need to stop killing them.”

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Oct 04, 2021

CLF Intervenes in Right Whale Lawsuit

“There is a limited window of time to save critically endangered right whales,” said CLF Senior Attorney Erica Fuller. “Closing certain areas to fishing when high numbers of right whales are present is the most effective way to reduce risk. While NOAA’s final rule has not gone nearly far enough to recover the species, this new closure will reduce the chance that whales become entangled in lobster gear in the Gulf of Maine. The Union’s lawsuit seeks to prevent the government from implementing one of the few proven measures and we cannot stand by and let that happen.”

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Sep 10, 2021

New Legal Challenge to Federal Right Whale Rule Filed

“Fishermen should be recognized for the changes they have made to protect right whales from extinction, but we have much more work to do,” said Erica Fuller, senior attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “The existence of an entire species is at stake, and we must keep pressing forward. Fishery managers must take immediate action to reduce entanglements and we look forward to standing up for right whales in court to make sure they do.”

Aug 31, 2021

NOAA Issues New Right Whale Protection Rule

“While this rule is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough or fast enough to stop the precipitous decline of this species,” said Erica Fuller, Senior Attorney at CLF. “We plan to challenge the new rule in court to ensure that right whales recover rather than become an extinction statistic. That means reducing the risk of serious injuries and deaths by at least 80 percent immediately, not fiddling while Rome burns.”  

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