Protections for Right whales advance in Congress

Right now, North Atlantic Right whales are fighting a losing battle against fishing gear and boat strikes. Fortunately, the tide may be turning.

On March 23, the Right Whale Coexistence Act was passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee. This bill provides $150 million in funding to speed the transition to fishing technologies that don't use vertical fishing lines — lines that entangle, harm and sometimes drown whales.

"With only 336 of these whales left in our oceans, we must act now to save these critically endangered giants of the sea, which far too often find themselves entangled in fishing gear," said Environment America Oceans Associate Kate Griese. "The Right Whale Coexistence Act is a key step toward bringing the whales back from the very brink of extinction."

Environment America and our national network are advocating for the fishing industry to adopt the use of Right whale-safe fishing gear to help breathe new life into the endangered species.

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Photo: The North Atlantic right whale population has declined in recent years and now numbers approximately 336 whales. Credit: Public Domain (CCO)