The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most critically endangered animals in the world, with fewer than 340 individuals remaining in the population, of which only 70 are reproductive females. Since 2017, a staggering 98 right whales have died or been seriously injured in U.S. and Canadian waters.
The two leading threats to their survival are vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. Vessel strikes leave right whales with agonizing injuries that often lead to death within days or weeks. Weighed down by hundreds of pounds of fishing gear, entangled right whales are unable to move freely through the water, feed, and reproduce. Over time, they die a slow death from starvation or injury.
We are calling on federal agencies in the U.S. and Canada to advance and strengthen North Atlantic right whale protective measures and save this dying population. We are urging NOAA, the US Coast Guard, Congress, Transport Canada and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Ocean to:
Increase compliance, enforcement, and awareness within the existing 10 knot speed regulation in North Atlantic right whale management areas;
Expand support for the testing of innovative gear solutions (i.e., on-demand and acoustic) for trap/pot and gillnet fisheries within the habitat and migratory corridors of the North Atlantic right whale;
Strengthen and increase transparency into cross-border collaborations and cooperative federally driven initiatives to holistically address North Atlantic right whale conservation practices
Join us today to protect North Atlantic right whales in their fight to survive the increasing threats from entanglement and vessel strikes.