“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.”
“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.”
“President Biden’s announcement is a welcome relief after Trump threw science out the window and slashed protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts,” said Peter Shelley, Senior Counsel at CLF. “Restoring these commonsense safeguards will have an immeasurable impact on species that call the monument home and will result in a healthier ocean overall. With our oceans in peril from human impacts and the climate crisis, it’s time to protect more areas, not less.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Dr. Ayana Johnson shares her views and hopes for the future of the ocean conservation movement.
“With several New England fish populations in perpetual crisis, now is the time to strengthen the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” said Peter Shelley, Senior Counsel at CLF. “Congressman Huffman’s bill has the potential to address the impacts of the climate crisis on our fisheries and improve protection of important habitat from destructive fishing gear, but it also risks weakening core provisions of the law that are essential for rebuilding overfished species. We’ll be continuing our push to end overfishing and rebuild our region’s threatened fish populations as this bill moves through Congress.”
The past year has shown us what we can accomplish when faced with unprecedented upheaval. Now we are focused on driving forward a future that is equitable and healthy for all – while also confronting the most urgent environmental threats in the here and now. The work we do together in the next five years… Continue reading Conservation Matters Summer 2021: Year in Review
The Biden administration has outlined a bold vision for conservation, but the devil is in the details, especially when it comes to protecting 30% of lands and waters by 2030.