Saturday, July 20, 2024

Despite Concerns From Activists, NOAA Highlights North Atlantic Right Whale Moms And Their Calfs


The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service this week released a thread on social media highlighting various North Atlantic Right Whale moms and their calfs, despite calls from environmental groups to do more to protect these endangered marine mammals.

Ocean advocacy organization Oceana this week pointed out that last December, the group submitted a petition demanding that the NMFS issue emergency protections for North Atlantic right whales during calving season.

Today (Saturday) marks the one-year anniversary that it was summarily rejected, leaving whales at risk and resulting in a dead North Atlantic right whale in Virginia Beach, and most recently, a severely injured newborn calf in South Carolina.

“And this is only what we know — it’s estimated that only 1 in 3 whale deaths is documented,” according to Oceana.

In NOAA’s denial, Oceana says the Biden administration claimed that:

“NMFS recognizes the urgent nature of the right whale’s continued decline, due in part to the ongoing risk of vessel strikes in U.S. waters, and is working diligently to address this threat to the species.”

And that:

“The agency is focused on implementing long-term, substantive vessel strike risk reduction measures and anticipates taking final action on the proposed rule in 2023.”

According to Gib Brogan, campaign director at Oceana:

“We are outraged that Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and President Biden have failed to enact their own vessel speed proposal to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. Unsurprisingly, whales are still being hit by speeding boats violating mandatory and voluntary speed limits. Its proposal was drawn from years of science-backed data, and it appears that politicians and special interest groups have once again won in slowing down the decision-makers at NOAA. Sadly, it’s only a matter of time before another North Atlantic right whale becomes the victim of a boat strike because of government inaction. They already know what the solution is, so why aren’t they implementing it?”

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.