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A Southern Resident killer whale leaps into the air. The Southern Residents are an endangered population of fish-eating killer whales. Credit: NOAA

Southern Resident Orcas Receive Oregon Endangered Species Protections

February 16, 2024 - Contact: Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, (508) 451-3853, [email protected] Brady...
Pilgrim and her calf in December 2022 © Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA permit #20556-01

Critically endangered whale dies due to inaction of Biden administration

Pilgrim and her calf in December 2022 © Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken...
© Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, taken under NOAA permit 24359. Funded by NOAA Fisheries and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Critically endangered North Atlantic right whale found dead off Georgia’s coast

February 13, 2024 - On February 13, a North Atlantic right whale was reported dead...
#5120 not entangled in July 2021 
© Gine Lonati, University of New Brunswick. Taken under DFO Canada Sara Permit

Entanglement rope of North Atlantic right whale identified

On February 14th, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced it had identified the fishing...

A win for critically endangered North Atlantic right whales in the New Year!

WDC welcomes today’s announcement by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management (BOEM) denying six pending permits applications to conduct seismic testing along the mid-Atlantic and Southeast US coastlines.  Just last month, WDC celebrated President Obama’s decision to permanently protection areas in the northeast Atlantic from offshore drilling.  However, WDC remained concerned about the potential for seismic testing along the southeast US, the only known calving habitat for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.  The loud pulsing sounds produced 24 hours a day are known to harass, harm, and even kill whales and dolphins. 

Fewer than 500 North Atlantic right whales remain, and their survival is constantly threatened by human activity. In 2016, WDC and its conservation partners worked to get nearly 40,000 square miles of coastline designated as critical habitat for the species.  However, the looming threat of seismic testing and its impact on right whales remained.  Man-made noise increases stress hormones in right whales which can impact their ability to reproduce and lower their immune systems. 

Emerging research underscores the critical role North Atlantic right whales play in the ecosystem by supplying nutrients to phytoplankton which produces most of the world’s oxygen and is the base on which fish stocks depend.  According to Regina Asmutis-Silvia, WDC NA executive director, “To adequately protect right whales, we must protect their homes and to adequately protect this planet, we must protect its whales. Today’s announcement is not only a win for right whales, but for humans too.”