Last year saw an alarming dieoff of North Atlantic right whales, something researchers refer as an “unusual mortality event.” Their carcasses littered the shores of the east coast—12 in Canada and 5 in the United States. Necropsies revealed that most of the animals died from blunt force trauma or entanglement issues. This brings the North Atlantic right whale’s fragile population to an estimated fewer than 500.
Engangered Marine Species
“The Trump administration has declared war on whales, dolphins and turtles off the coast of California,” Todd Steiner, director of the California-based Turtle Island Restoration Network, told the LA Times.
“The situation is completely out of control,” says Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, a cetacean expert at the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change in Ensenada, Mexico, and member of the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita, an international advisory group to the Mexican government. “Of course, there’s a risk in capturing the vaquitas. But it’s clear now that they will be killed [in gillnets] anyway.”
“…a growing body of evidence suggests that our casual attitude about waste
may be reshaping the way the natural world functions across much of the planet, inadvertently subsidizing some opportunistic predators and thus contributing to the decline of other species, including some that are threatened or endangered.”
Last month, the Mexican government announced that it would ban gillnets across 5,000 square miles of the upper Gulf of California for two years and compensating the fishermen. The two years will buy time while experts and local fishermen develop nets that are safe for vaquitas.
WASHINGTON — Oil and gas companies hoping to drill in the Atlantic Ocean will have to contend with a new federal proposal to declare waters off the Carolinas and Georgia as critical for endangered whales. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric… Read More ›
Washington—The Pew Charitable Trusts launched groundbreaking technology today that will help authorities monitor, detect, and respond to illicit fishing activity across the world’s oceans. The development of Project Eyes on the Seas, as the system is known, furthers a long-term… Read More ›