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Death of a species

The discovery of yet another dead endangered North Atlantic right whale off Virginia brings the loss to a total of 18 dead since April, a devastating blow to the species during a year when only five calves were born.   While 12 of the deaths occurred in Canadian waters between June and September, this latest mortality…

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WDC and Partner Groups demand US and Canada act to save North Atlantic right whales

Critically Endangered Whales Suffered Mass Die-off on East Coast in 2017 WDC and its conservation and animal-protection partners sought action today by the United States and Canada to prevent painful, deadly entanglements in fishing gear that threaten the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. In letters to Canadian officials and the U.S. National Marine Fisheries…

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Another risky summer for West Coast humpbacks

For the third year in a row, the coast of California has been treated to a “whale spectacular” of humpback whales coming very close to shore, even into San Francisco Bay, giving tourists and residents, both casual onlookers and avid whale watchers, an amazing look into the lives of these magnificent beings.  The whales are…

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Trans mountain pipeline construction stopped

From the west coast of Canada: the provincial government of British Columbia has taken action to prevent Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.  Contruction was scheduled to begin in September but will not be allowed to move forward on public and Tribal lands under further consultation with First Nations is completed.  The government has retained…

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US authorities launch investigation into increase in humpback whale deaths

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US has launched an investigation into possible causes behind an unusually high number of humpback whales deaths along the country’s east coast. The situation has been declared an “unusual mortality event (UME)“, requiring an immediate response to investigate the event by the authorities. 26 whales died…

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Dead whale discovered on cruise ship bow

A dead young male fin whale has been discovered on the bow of a cruise ship after it arrived in port in Alaska. The Zaandam was preparing to dock in Seaward when the body of the whale was spotted on Sunday morning. A veterinary pathologist is now investigating what may have killed the whale, which…

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Bangladesh bans ships in endangered dolphin sanctuary

The Bangladesh government has taken action to ban the movement of shipping traffic indefinitely in the Shela river in the Sundarbans region of the country. The announcement came after a ship carrying over a thousand tonnes of coal capsized, leading to concerns about potential pollution in the river. In 2014, the area was previously hit by…

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A Long Road in the Right (whale) Direction

Thank you National Marine Fisheries Services! On October 15th the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) officially denied a request to reduce protections from ship strikes designed to protect the fewer than 500 remaining critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.   Since 2004, WDC has been championing a rule which mandates that vessels 20 meters or larger to slow to 10kts…

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Claiming Success Too Soon Could Result in Serious Failure

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service has claimed the endangered species act (ESA) a success for humpback whales worldwide; I too agree that the ESA has provided humpbacks the protection they needed after nearly being decimated by commercial whaling, but the story isn’t all that simple. A delisting at this time would be premature and humpback whales are now facing a whole new…

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