Oceana is urging the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to intervene to help save North Atlantic right whales from extinction.
The move comes after recent research by NOAA Fisheries found that the North Atlantic right whale population had been decimated. Currently, there is only an estimated 360 individuals remaining.
Sadly, the whales are slow swimming, have suffered badly from interactions with humans. The leading two causes of right whale fatalities are collisions with watercraft and drowning due to entanglement with fishing gear.
Oceana’s campaign directors for the US and Canada, Whitney Webber and Kim Elmslie, respectively, have released the following statement:
“The new estimates that only about 360 North Atlantic right whales remain underscores the need for immediate action to protect this critically endangered species. The time to act is now. We know that North Atlantic right whales are getting entangled in fishing gear and hit by vessels. We must reduce the number of fishing lines in the water and require vessels to slow down when right whales are present. Oceana calls on the U.S. and Canadian governments to act now to strengthen protections for these whales before it’s too late.”