Headlines:North Atlantic right whales face extinction threat from human-caused deaths

From WikiAnimal

20 July, 2023.

North Atlantic right whale
North Atlantic right whale

A recent report from NOAA Fisheries reveals that the North Atlantic right whale population is facing a serious threat from human-caused deaths and injuries. Since 2017, more than 20 percent of the endangered species has been affected by an Unusual Mortality Event (UME), which is a significant setback to their recovery.

The UME involves dead, injured, and sick whales, mostly caused by entanglements in fishing gear or vessel strikes. The report estimates that there are fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales left in the world, and that their deaths are outpacing their births.

NOAA urges the public to help the investigators by reporting any sightings of injured or stranded whales to the appropriate authorities. It also calls for more efforts to reduce the risk of human interaction with these whales, such as implementing speed restrictions, modifying fishing gear, and avoiding whale habitats. The report warns that without immediate action, the North Atlantic right whale could become extinct in the near future.

Report a Stranding

The most important step that the public can take to assist investigators is to immediately report any sightings of injured or stranded whales (dead or alive). In the United States, call the Greater Atlantic Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at (866) 755-6622 or the Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at (877) 433-8299.

In Canada, call the Marine Animal Response Society at (866) 567-6277 or the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network at (877) 722-5346.

You can also contact the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards on VHF Channel 16. Do not approach injured or dead animals.

See also