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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...

New Petition to Protect North Atlantic Right Whales from Vessel Strikes

With fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales left in the whole world, we have to help speak up for them. 

For North Atlantic right whales to recover, we have to make sure they have safe places to live. Unfortunately, one of the biggest threats that right whales face is being struck by a vessel (boat or ship). By lowering the chances of these accidents happening, we can give right whales safer seas to feed, socialize, and raise their babies. 

Thanks to your ongoing support and WDC’s ongoing determination, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has finally released a proposal to increase protections from accidental vessel strikes to North Atlantic right whales.  

Protect NARW donation image

Protect North Atlantic right whales!

WHAT IS IN THE PROPOSAL? 

This proposal, also known as a ‘proposed rule’, would strengthen protections for North Atlantic right whales in both space and time. Below is a comparison of the existing rule to the proposed ones.  

Current rule infographic
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Proposed rule infographic
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WHAT IS MISSING FROM THE PROPOSAL? 

This proposed rule strengthens protections for North Atlantic right whales to reduce the chance of them getting struck by a vessel or boat. With these increased protections, we are asking for some additions to the proposed rule. 

  • Dynamic 10 kt speed zones are zones where a speed rule is triggered if there are right whales in that area. The proposed rule says these dynamic zones are triggered by the sightings of three right whales, but we are asking that a mother and calf pair would also trigger a dynamic zone.  
  • The area south of Cape Cod is a year-round habitat for North Atlantic right whales. We are asking NOAA to increase protections so right whales are protected in this area throughout the year.  
  • We are asking that NOAA make the Great South Channel (shown in purple on the map) area match the same seasonal timing as the Atlantic season (shown in green on the map) 
  • We are asking for robust visual and acoustic surveys to support the triggers for dynamic zones to keep whales and boaters safe.  
  • Currently all boats/vessels over 35 feet long are not required to have AIS ((automatic identification systems). We are asking that these vessels have this technology so the US Coast Guard and NOAA can monitor their speed. 
  • We are asking for an exemption for permitted disentanglement vessels so they can get to a whale in distress. 

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1 Comment

  1. Karen on 01/17/2023 at 6:51 pm

    Ships, boats must do everything possible to protect the whales and find other methods of fishing that the nets do not get caught up in the nets . The marine protection agencies should inform fishermen and coast guard’s of when these mammals are migrating and calving during certain times of year. There should be a hefty fine and fishing licenses be taken away from those who have ignored, didn’t inform,find safer netting that doesn’t catch or get any whale or mammal caught ,or propellers hitting these beautiful creatures. We have to appreciate and remember they have a big part of taking care of the land and our water systems too .

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