Tell NOAA to move faster to protect right whales from deadly ship strikes

January 25, 2024

A two-month-old right whale calf is the latest victim of the Administration’s failure to issue new rules to protect highly-endangered North Atlantic right whales from being struck by marine vessels (boats and ships).

The calf was gravely wounded and is unlikely to recover. Vessel strikes such as this, combined with entanglements with fishing gear are nearly-constant threats to the survival of right whales. Scientists estimate that 45 right whales have been killed by vessel strikes in just the last decade. Fewer than 360 of these whales remain alive anywhere on the planet–allowing this injury and death to continue is preventing progress in the species’ recovery.

The Administration recently denied an emergency petition from conservation organizations to set speed limits for vessels 35 feet and longer. The Administration said that it is in the process of finalizing a speed limit rule but has moved with no urgency and has offered no date when it should be expected. Issuing and enforcing speed limits on boats could prevent tragedies like this and help to save this species.

With fewer than 70 breeding whales remaining, any delay in the face of grievous injury and death is unacceptable. Please email the Administration today and urge that they move with more urgency to save this species.

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