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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have killed at least two fin whales, the first...
hvalur-8-whaling-vessel

Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

A survey of Icelandic people has confirmed that the majority believe whaling damages Iceland's reputation. ...
A magnificent sei whale © Christopher Swann

Japan Begins Commercial Whaling Season

Sei whale © Christopher Swann Japanese whalers have left port to begin this year's annual...

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

University of Alaska Fairbanks Master's student, Dana Bloch, retrieves a CTD that is used to...

WDC wins again – Ship speed limit rule extended to save whales

Following a long running campaign to prevent ships injuring and killing endangered North Atlantic right whales, WDC is pleased to announce that the US government authorities have agreed to permanently extend the 10-knot speed restrictions for all vessels over 65 feet long travelling along the east coast of America.

The five year long speed limit on ships moving along this stretch of the Atlantic coast was due to end this month, further threatening the existence of North Atlantic right whale.  Listed under the Endangered Species Act for more than three decades, only around 500 North Atlantic right whales remain making these whales among the rarest in the world. ‘Ship strikes’ are one of the top threats to their survival, and so WDC launched its Act Right Now campaign in 2012, calling for the speed limit to be extended beyond December 2013. Over 75,000 WDC supporters responded by writing to the US government department responsible, and WDC is delighted by the Obama administration’s announcement that the ship speed limit will now be kept in place.

“As we reflect on all that we’ve done to help protect this species over the years, and this past year specifically, we can’t help but feel proud as we celebrate the news today”, said Regina Asmutis-Silvia, executive director of WDC-North America.  “Through the robust response of our supporters, coupled with our presence in Washington, WDC has played a major role in helping to save this species!”.

The whales’ coastal feeding, breeding and nursing grounds coincide with some of the busiest shipping areas in the United States.  A recent US government publication determined that ship speed reduction measures reduced the chance of a lethal collision by close to 90%.

“For the past year we have been focused on making sure this rule stayed in effect because it is crucial for the survival of the North Atlantic right whale.” Said Emily Ryane Moss, Act Right Now Campaign Lead. “We are thrilled that policy makers have come to the same conclusion and took action to protect them.”