The North Atlantic right whale will remain a protected species in the United States
The North Atlantic right whale, an endangered cetacean, will remain protected under the United States Endangered Species Act.
US federal authorities announced on Tuesday that the species requires a series of protective measures to prevent its extinction.
North Atlantic right whales number only about 340 and their population has declined in recent years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a review of the species’ status on Tuesday that says it « continues to decline and has not met many of the recovery criteria outlined in its recovery plan. « .
NOAA says the animal continues to decline due to threats from fishing gear, ship strikes and other stressors. These include emerging environmental stress, including climate change and the combined effects of several ongoing stressors that may limit North Atlantic right whale calving and recovery.
NOAA has also released recommended actions to try to stabilize the whale population. These actions include partnering with the Government of Canada to reduce collisions and entanglements. The whales migrate every year from the waters off the states of Georgia and Florida to those of New England and Canada.
The agency also recommended more research and implementation of fishing gear modifications that reduce risk to whales. She also said more emphasis should be placed on removing derelict fishing gear from the whales’ range.
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