There are only approximately 411 North Atlantic right whales remaining in the world. These majestic animals inhabit heavily trafficked waters along the Atlantic Coast from Florida to Canada, and are extremely vulnerable to ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear. There have been 20 confirmed deaths since 2017. And in 2018, no calves were born – the first time this has happened in over two decades of surveying. Scientists estimate that the species could become extinct within our lifetimes.
But they are not without hope. New technologies in the fishing industry are offering promising new ways to prevent whales from becoming entangled in heavy rope, while still allowing fishermen to continue to fish in the same waters and earn their livelihoods. In addition, changes to shipping lanes and speeds can dramatically reduce vessel strikes.
It is critical to move these promising ideas forward as time is not on our side. The SAVE Right Whales Act would authorize $5 million annually over the next decade in new grants to support research and development of projects designed to reduce the impacts of human activities on North Atlantic right whales. Research institutions, nonprofit organizations, state agencies, and the fishing and shipping industries are eager to find better solutions – and funding from this proposed legislation will make it possible.
The time to act to save the North Atlantic right whale is now. We need your help to pass this law and give right whales a fighting chance. Contact your representative today and ask them to co-sponsor the bill.