Entangled Right Whale Spotted Off New Jersey Coast

Right whale - protect right whales from vessel strikes

Photo: Brian Skerry

October 13, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – Federal fishery managers confirmed that an entangled North Atlantic right whale has been spotted off the coast of New Jersey. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.

“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.”

With barely 400 North Atlantic right whales remaining in the wild, even one death is too many. For years, CLF has been pushing for stronger protections to help this species recover. As a result of our lawsuit, federal fishery managers have until May 2021 to issue new rules that will protect right whales from entanglement in fishing gear. CLF has also advocated for speed limits to help protect the whales from ship strikes, another leading cause of death.

CLF experts are available for further comment.