Threats to North Atlantic right whales

Article: The Atlantic on right whales and ship traffic

The danger to North Atlantic right whales from ship strikes and ocean noise has been discussed here before. The introduction of speed limits for ships in 2008, when there were fewer than 450 of these whales alive, has made a small difference, but the environmentally conscious Bush administration ensured that the law mandating these speed limits expired in 2013 (this year), because, like, time is money. (This really makes me despise politicians.) There are moves afoot to make the speed limits permanent before the end of 2013. This would be a good thing.

The Atlantic quotes Michael Moore of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution:

According to the New England Aquarium, ship strikes and fishing-gear entanglement until recently were killing the whales faster than they could reproduce. “Laws aside, there are fundamental reasons not to knowingly and willingly destroy a species,” says Moore. “Once it’s gone, it is forever.”

Threats to North Atlantic right whales
Threats to North Atlantic right whales

Read the article here. The best part of it is actually a map/infographic showing the extent of the problem, and that can be found here or by clicking on the clipped version above.

Published by


Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.