right whales

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press/file

A Congressional panel is holding a hearing about the threats facing endangered North Atlantic right whales, which number only about 411.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

At Maine’s annual Fishermen’s Forum in Rockport Friday, a historic $600 million harvest season coincided with a slight increase in lobster landings and lingering concerns over potential changes to gear rules around protecting endangered right whales. But looming over the forum are major cutbacks in the quota of crucial herring bait fish — which could ripple across the industry.

New England Aquarium

Fisheries’ managers in the Atlantic states are considering a more proactive approach to regulating the lobster industry in order to reduce risks it may pose for the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Shutdown Makes It Tough For Groups To Help Endangered Whales

Jan 23, 2019
Michael Dwyer / Associated Press/file

PORTLAND, Maine - Rescuers who respond to distressed whales and other marine animals say the federal government shutdown is making it more difficult to do their work.

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

NANTUCKET, Mass. - The federal government is extending a protective zone off Massachusetts to try to keep a large group of endangered whales safe from collisions with boats.

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press/file

PORTLAND, Maine - Scientists say the population of North Atlantic right whales could decline to levels not seen since 1990 in as few as 12 years.

Courtesy New England Aquarium

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has confirmed the death of another North Atlantic Right Whale — the third this year.

Lisa Sette / Center for Coastal Studies via AP

Originally published 4:43 p.m. September 25, 2018.

A report by federal scientists says it’s time for a new look at regulations that aim to protect the endangered North American right whale — because they aren’t working and may have made things worse.

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

BOSTON - A member of a species of critically endangered whale that is struggling with poor reproduction has been found dead off of Massachusetts.

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

The Canadian government says it is taking steps to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales from encounters with fishing vessels and gear.

The whales are one of the world's rarest marine mammals, and they have struggled with high mortality in recent years, especially in Canadian waters. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is enacting temporary fisheries closures in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and off Quebec.

Wells Police Department

An endangered North Atlantic right whale has been swimming off the coast of York County — a rare sighting of the giant mammal at a time when its population may be headed toward extinction.

The whale has been seen swimming — and spouting — off Cape Neddick, Ogunquit, and Wells over the past few days. Tony LaCasse, a spokesman at the New England Aquarium, says right whales historically have spent time in the spring in eastern Cape Cod Bay, but this year have been showing up closer to the mainland shore — including in the Marblehead, Massachusetts, area.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA research permit #15488

A group of New England senators is calling on the U.S. government to speed up an analysis of Canada’s efforts to protect the endangered North American right whale, and to consider trade action if Canada’s rules do not prove as strong as in the U.S.

Proposal To Review Canada's Right Whale Protections Gets Chilly Reception

May 1, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine - A group of Democratic senators says the U.S. government should audit the job Canada is doing to protect endangered whales.
The senators, led by Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, cite the dire status of North Atlantic right whales as a reason to put some pressure on Canada. The right whales number only about 450 and suffered through a year of 17 deaths in 2017, and 12 of the deaths were in Canada.

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is giving the state of Maine more than $700,000 to help provide better data to try to protect endangered right whales.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources say the grant funds a three-year project set to begin this summer that will support work aimed at improving and increasing the amount of data on fishing gear. The data can be used to inform future protections for the whales.

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

NANTUCKET, Mass. - Federal ocean managers are extending a voluntary speed restriction zone off of Massachusetts to try to help protect endangered right whales.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established the zone to protect a group of eight North Atlantic right whales spotted 20 nautical miles south of Nantucket on March 29. The agency says the zone will be in effect through April 12.
NOAA asks mariners to route around the area altogether or transit through it at 10 knots or less.