“Just seven months ago, another right whale was killed off Virginia Beach, yet nothing has changed on the water,” said Erica Fuller, senior attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “NOAA Fisheries has proposed a strong rule and their Office of Law Enforcement has made clear they’ll do everything they can to enforce it. Unfortunately, special interest groups in Congress have created a campaign of misinformation that now threatens to derail and delay protections. These are unnecessary deaths — we urge the agency to take action now.”
To save right whales from extinction, we must protect them from boats and fishing gear.
“This decision rejects the lobster industry’s attempts to distract from the overwhelming scientific evidence that entanglements have killed far too many right whales for far too long,” said Erica Fuller, a senior attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “It took the Fisheries Service five years to finalize a rule that only reduced lethal entanglement risk by 50% when the science shows 90% is needed. This species doesn’t have another five years to wait for the agency to comply with the law.”
“Responsibly sited offshore wind has the power to transform our energy grid and combat the climate crisis,” said CLF President Brad Campbell. “Today’s news is a significant and welcome milestone for Vineyard Wind and the future of all offshore wind in the U.S. As this project and others move forward, they must keep pace with the best available science and technology to ensure that their impacts on critically endangered North Atlantic right whales as well as other vulnerable species and their habitats are appropriately avoided and minimized.”
From the second they are born to their last breath, North Atlantic right whales help our climate by making our ocean more resilient. We need to push for their protection so that they can do their part in helping to create a greater future for all.
Scientists estimate that little more than 350 whales are left on the planet – a shockingly low number. It is our activities in the ocean – fishing, shipping, drilling, construction – that threaten the survival of this species. In the last three years, vessel strikes, in particular, have caused about half of the known or suspected deaths of right whales in the U.S. and Canada.
“These population estimates are devastating,” said Erica Fuller, Senior Attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “The outlook is grim if we do not act today. We know human activities are decimating this population, what will it take for federal fishery managers to finally take action to protect these magnificent animals?”
“Tragically, this is yet another dead whale swimming,” said Emily Green, Senior Attorney at CLF. “Entanglements in fishing line basically torture the whale to death and pose one of the greatest threats to the recovery of this species. Right whales can be saved, but we must make difficult decisions to protect them now or else witness their demise.”
“Humans hold the cards to decide whether North Atlantic right whales rebuild to a sustainable population or go extinct,” said Emily Green, Senior Attorney at CLF. “Engaging a new generation of young advocates is critical to our shared fight for the protection of right whales and our oceans. We’re thrilled to share their artwork with communities across New England.”
“After a series of devastating deaths this summer, pushing paper will not protect right whales from extinction,” said Erica Fuller, CLF Senior Attorney. “We need to use the force of the law to put this species on the path to recovery. The judge absolutely made the correct call: right whales simply can’t wait any longer for the federal government to get around to doing their job.”