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Hysazu Photography

Looking at the year ahead for Southern Resident orcas

Hysazu Photography I'm excited for 2022 - I'm optimistic that this is going to be...
Harp seal

FAQs About Marine Animal Rescue and Response With Sarah!

WDC recently announced our newest program - Marine Animal Rescue and Response! This program is...
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Five Easy Ways to Make Your Holiday Season Eco-Friendly

Don't be a grinch and have a green holiday! Here are 5 ways to make...
North Atlantic right whale fluking

Six Questions With Dr. Michael Moore

We talked with Dr. Michael Moore of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution about his new book...
Humpback whale breaches out of the water

COP26 -Save the whales, save the world!

COP26 - the UN Climate Change Conference kicked off this week in Glasgow. This global...
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Happy Trash-tober!

To celebrate spooky season, our WDC North America team decided to do our part to...
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Join WDC for STEM Week 2021!

Hey! Join me and Whale & Dolphin Conservation for STEM Week 2021! If you're interested...
Dead dolphins on the beach

Faroe Islands whale and dolphin slaughter – what have we done and what are we doing?

The massacre of 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður on the Faroe Islands on 12th...

Misa-line-ing whale protection

As a federally appointed member of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team, WDC has worked for the past several years to help develop a plan that would reduce the amount of vertical line in the water column, thereby reducing the risk of entanglement to North Atlantic right whales by commercial fisheries.   We were pleased when the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the agency charged with implementing these regulations, announced that this new rule will be released this coming July.  So imagine our surprise when we heard that this same agency is proposing to allow an increase in fishing effort, and vertical lines, in the only known calving area for the right whales!

Currently a fishery regulation (Amendment 19) prohibits black sea bass TRAP/pot fishing, a method that relies on using vertical lines, in the southeast region between November 1 and April 30, when right whales are present.  Last month, however, the Fisheries Management Council proposed to allow this fishing effort to occur during the right whale migration and calving period and the NMFS seems poised to agree.  Fewer than 500 North Atlantic right whales remain and entanglements in fishing gear continue to be one of the most significant threats to this imperiled species.   The NMFS acknowledges it can rarely identify the specific fishery from which entangling gear originated so it is unclear why they are considering allowing this fishery to increase effort– and the use of vertical lines– in an area where newborn right whales will be found.

While they may be confused, we are not. With our conservation partners, we have told the NMFS, in no uncertain terms, that increasing risk to right whales is unacceptable!