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Use your voice to help - Save North Atlantic right whales from extinction

by Sailors for the Sea 10 Feb 15:33 UTC
Use your voice to help - Save North Atlantic right whales from extinction © Sailors for the Sea

Last month, a 33-year-old male North Atlantic right whale was spotted about 10 miles offshore of the Georgia-Florida state line entangled in fishing rope. A rope wrapped around his tail attached to fishing gear appeared to trail behind him - like an anchor. An entanglement like this can prove deadly.

The whale has not been seen since. Experts fear the worst.

This sad story continues to play out time and time again off the East Coast. A jungle of roughly one million vertical fishing lines sprawls across right whale migration routes and feeding areas in the United States and Canada. All too often these iconic leviathans fall victim to the jungle, the lines cutting into their flesh, causing infections, severing whole fins, and dragging them down to the seafloor to drown.

If we don't do something now, these whales could disappear forever. North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered large whales on the planet. Only around 360 remain!

You can help save North Atlantic right whales from deadly entanglements and extinction by using your voice with Oceana today! Tell the National Marine Fisheries Service to implement the strongest possible measures to protect this critically endangered species now.

Entanglement in fishing gear used to catch lobster, crab and bottom-dwelling fish like halibut, flounder and cod is one of two leading causes of North Atlantic right whale deaths. Fishing gear from the U.S. and Canada entangles an estimated 100 North Atlantic right whales each year, and about 83% of all North Atlantic right whales have been entangled at least once.

These critically endangered whales need us.

Oceana campaigns to pressure the U.S. and Canadian governments to work together to prevent North Atlantic right whales from going extinct by reducing the amount of vertical lines from fishing gear in the water and requiring ships to slow down to prevent fatal collisions.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed regulations to reduce right whale injury and mortality from entanglement in commercial fishing gear, but these half measures are wholly insufficient. If the agency fails to put the strongest protections for these whales in place, they may as well be signing a right whale extinction notice.

Scientists estimate that even a single human-caused North Atlantic right whale death a year threatens the species' chances of recovery. It looks like we already lost the male sighted last month. The government must take action immediately to safeguard these whales before we lose another.

Tell the National Marine Fisheries Service to implement adequate and desperately needed protections for North Atlantic right whales now - We only have until the government's March 1 deadline to speak up.

Thank you for using your voice today to speak up for these amazing creatures.

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