Sunday, July 21, 2024

Conservation Groups Take Legal Action To Help Protect Right Whales


To combat the US Government dragging its heels on expanding the protection of right whales, conservation groups have gone to federal court.

The groups want to lift a court-ordered stay and allow litigation to proceed through the court. The stalled litigation is aimed at challenging the federal government’s slow response in implementing further protection for right whales.

Sadly, only around 360 right whales are around today, and their numbers are declining faster than the breeding rate. This is primarily due to fishing gear entanglement and boat collisions. These majestic creatures will sadly disappear from our oceans if nothing is done.

According to Jane Davenport, senior attorney at Defenders of Wildlife:

“The federal government has known for years that right whales urgently require expanded vessel strike protections, yet has repeatedly kicked the can down the road. When the Biden administration finally issued a proposal to do just that, we hoped it would act as quickly as it promised to finalize the expansion. Unfortunately, it has continued its practice of overpromising and underdelivering. We have no choice but to go back to court to get a deadline to force the government to do its job.”

While Whale and Dolphin Conservation Executive Director Regina Asmutis-Silvia added:

“Until proven technological solutions exist, the best solution is to immediately implement mandatory slow zones to protect both right whales and boaters. Both physics and common sense tell us there’s a reason we don’t encourage drivers to speed through school zones.”

 Catherine Kilduff, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity chimed in:

“Watching North Atlantic right whales get hurt while federal agencies drag their feet on a speed limit rule is heart-wrenching and beyond frustrating. We’ve already seen the devastating consequences of an ‘anything goes’ approach, when a boat struck and gravely injured a calf off South Carolina last month. No one wants to lose more right whales, and slowing down vessels is the least we can do to try and prevent these beautiful creatures from going extinct.”

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for