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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...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
  • Strandings

Whale culture should play a part in their conservation says new international study

An international group of researchers working on a wide range of species, including whales, argues...

No change in Norway whaling quota as number of whales to be killed remains high

Norway’s Minister of Fisheries has announced that the country has set itself the same number...

Preparations for beluga whale move to Iceland continue

Ahead of the relocation of Little White and Little Grey to the world’s first open...
Photo taken by Sea to Shore Alliance under NOAA Permit #15488

Senate Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Save the North Atlantic Right Whale

After a deadly summer for North Atlantic right whales, Senators Booker (D-NJ), Isakson (R-GA) and...

Norway’s whaling future uncertain after survey shows little domestic appetite for whale meat

The future of Norway’s whaling industry appears to be in serious doubt as it struggles...

Moving in the wrong direction: new application would bring belugas to US marine parks

Earlier this year, WDC celebrated the passage of a landmark law to ban whale and...
Fin whale

Positive whaling news emerges from Iceland

News is emerging from Iceland that the company behind Iceland’s fin whale hunts, Hvalur hf,...
Valentin - orca held at Marineland Antibes, France

Success! France to ban captivity of whales and dolphins in marine parks

WDC’s continued campaigning to end the keeping of whales and dolphins in captive facilities for...
Beluga whale

Belugas take ‘little steps’ into the ocean sanctuary

We are pleased to confirm that beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White, have taken...

Beluga Whale Sanctuary Winter 2020 Update

Using the landside care facility for this purpose has always been part of the long-term...
Leonardo Da Silva/Flickr

Alarming report raises worries for marine mammals held at the Miami Seaquarium

Leonardo Da Silva/Flickr A disturbing report on the conditions at the Miami Seaquarium from the...
Beluga whales - Little Grey and Little White

Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Update: 1st July 2020 We have been working to relocate belugas, Little Grey and Little...

New population estimate deal another blow to critically endangered North Atlantic right whales

credit: Peter Flood

A new population estimate released by the New England Aquarium indicates the population of North Atlantic right whale declined by another 8% between 2019 and 2020 with only 336 individuals estimated to remain.  The species is sometimes referred to as the “urban whale” given its remaining habitat lies along the busy eastern seaboards of the US east coast and Atlantic Canada.  After what appeared to be a slow but promising rebound in the early 2000’s, the population began rapidly declining around 2010 due to human impacts.

As a changing climate shifted the tiny zooplankton prey of right whales, the whales moved into new feeding areas void of protections from vessel strikes and accidental entanglements, their two biggest threats.  At the same time, females who used more energy to travel to find food, or suffered from the additional stress of being entangled, had fewer calves.  As a result, the number of whales dying surpassed the number being born to the population.

These latest figures do not account for the 18 calves born during the 2021 calving season.  Sadly, one calf died of complications during its birth and another was struck and killed by a passing vessel.  The calf’s mom was also injured during the collision and is not expected to survive. In addition, 2 other right whales were killed or seriously injured by entanglements in 2021.

not to be used for fundraising

“We have an obligation to help recover this species, not just for their own survival, but for ours too.” - Regina Asmutis-Silvia

“This latest population figure is not what we were hoping for but we still have hope.  We just had a year where more right whale calves were born than the three previous years combined showing that the species isn’t giving up and that we can’t give up on them” said Regina Asmutis-Silvia, WDC-NA Executive Director.  Large Whales, including the North Atlantic right whale play an integral role in the health of the marine ecosystem by helping to produce half the earth’s oxygen, sustaining fish stocks, and fighting climate change. Asmutis-Silvia went on to say “we have an obligation to help recover this species, not just for their own survival, but for ours too”.

What is WDC doing to help right whales?

Petitioned NOAA to expand the vessel speed restriction in right whale habitats

Testing alternative fishing gear which will nearly eliminate entanglement risk

Training vessel operators to identify and report entangled whales and live right whale sightings

Inputting into monitoring and mitigation measures for offshore energy development

For any media inquiries, please give us a call at 508-746-2522.

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