Category Archive: Whales

ESA Section 7 consultation re-initiated for right whales; new TRT subgroups formed

As this issue was going to press in mid-January, three environmental groups filed a lawsuit against NOAA Fisheries and the Dept. of Commerce in an effort to force the federal government to provide greater protection for North Atlantic right whales. The Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Humane Society of the United …

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2017 North Atlantic right whale incidents include 15 deaths, plus 9 entanglements

GLOUCESTER, MA – In August, NOAA Fisheries declared an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) after two separate stranded North Atlantic right whales were sighted in US waters. Those two, in addition to 11 stranded right whales found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (GSL) between Jun. 6 and Aug. …

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New critical habitat areas for North Atlantic right whales

GLOUCESTER, MA – Effective Feb. 26, NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) was designating two expanded North Atlantic right whale critical habitat areas to replace the existing critical habitat boundaries established in 1994. NMFS proposed the new areas last year under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) after a decade of reviewing new research into the distribution, calving, feeding, …

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Massachusetts requests exemptions from new vertical line rule to protect whales

BOSTON, MA – Concerns for the safety and economic health of its fishermen have prompted the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) to file a request with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for exemptions and modifications to new whale protection measures announced in June. DMF put together the request following extensive discussions with lobstermen …

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