Protect California's Endangered Humpback Whales

  • by: Jaime M
  • target: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Those of us of a certain age remember the story of Humphrey the Humpback whale. The wayward cetacean who twice detoured from his Mexico to Alaska migration route and got lost in the San Francisco Bay. In both 1985 and 1990 volunteers along with the US Coast Guard and other organizations worked hard to get him back on track so he could continue on his way.

Hundreds of volunteers, and millions of onlookers rooted for Humphrey to make it back to the open ocean and despite all obstacles he did! The story is an example of teamwork and compassion, and it taught both young and old the power of perseverance.

Humpback whales are endangered, and once again Humphrey and his friends need our help. Last year 54 humpback whales found themselves entangled in fishing nets. One third of those were due to Crab fishing lines off the California coast. Although whales are powerful creatures, they are rarely able to untangle themselves from nets and lines. And once caught, their condition can quickly decline as they suffer from anything from dehydration and infection to respiratory and breathing problems, or even starvation.

Humpback  migration, breeding and feeding seasons and routes are well known among biologists and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). These areas have a higher concentration of whales and thus there is a higher risk for ensnarement.

In order to prevent Humpbacks and other whales from going extinct, we must create policies that protect them from threats like entanglements. One way would be for CDFW to prohibit crabbing in their waters during whale "high season". Please sign the petition and ask CDFW to ban crabbing in high concentration areas during humpback migration, breeding and feeding seasons.  

Dear California Department of Fish and Wildlife,


The growing instances of humpback whale entanglements is troubling. With a simple policy change these numbers could be drastically reduced or even avoided completely. Please implement common sense protections for marine life off California’s coast and ban crabbing during whale "high season."


[Your comments]


Sincerely,

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