“Offshore wind is a critical piece of New England’s shift from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy,” said Priscilla Brooks, Director of Ocean Conservation at CLF. “Today’s news is an exciting step forward for the Vineyard Wind project and we look forward to reviewing the environmental impact statement. We will continue to work with Vineyard Wind and federal officials to make sure that this project moves forward quickly and in a way that avoids harm to endangered North Atlantic right whales as well as other ocean wildlife and habitats.”
“After such an unprecedented delay, this new rule will help stem the surge of right whale deaths we’ve seen over the last several years,” said Erica Fuller, Senior Attorney at CLF. “Ropeless fishing is the only solution that protects whales and fishermen, and the rule expands that practice. However, NOAA must end its reliance on weak rope as a solution and get emergency protections on the water immediately while this rule is finalized.”
“This decision confirms that even the federal government is not above the law,” said Erica Fuller, CLF Senior Attorney. “We must do whatever it takes to ensure right whales are here for future generations, and that starts with obeying the Endangered Species Act. The ruling provides an incentive for fishermen and scientists to forge a new path that protects right whales while also sustaining the lobster industry.”
North Atlantic right whales could be extinct by 2040 if we don’t act quickly. Once a common target for whalers, the population now faces new and increasing threats from ship strikes and fishing gear. We need all hands on deck to save our right whales.
Last year, 17 North Atlantic right whales died, leaving the remaining population of less than 450 precariously close to extinction. Twelve of the deaths last year occurred in Canadian waters. Certain folks in the U.S. pointed their fingers at our northern neighbors saying that efforts here are pointless unless Canada makes necessary changes, but Canada is taking action – and they’re doing it much faster than we are.