Saving the North Atlantic Right Whale saving the North Atlantic Right Whale
Published:26 Nov.2020    Source:WHOI

The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is a critically endangered whale species that is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Canada’s Species at Risk Act. These animals are often found within 50 miles of the East Coast of North America, making them vulnerable to human activities.

Whaling for the North Atlantic right whale became illegal in 1935, when the species was close to extinction. By 1992, an estimated 295 were alive.1 Growth in North Atlantic right whale numbers averaged 2.8 percent per year between 1990 and 2010,2 which brought the population up to roughly 500 by 2010.3 However, calving rates have dropped by nearly 40 percent since then, and over the last four decades an increasing number of North Atlantic right whales have been killed by collisions with ships.4, 5, 6 Ship collisions and entanglements in fishing gear continue to contribute substantially to the species' decline.