The Gulf of Mexico is home to only one species of baleen whale, a critically endangered and genetically isolated population of Bryde's whale.
This distinct subpopulation has shrunk to fewer than 100 individuals, and is greatly threatened by the Gulf's active oil and gas industry, including seismic airgun explosions as well as ship strikes from ocean shipping traffic.
The Gulf's great baleen whale is largely dependent upon the De Soto Canyon off the coast of Florida and Alabama for its critical habitat, an area that was hit hard by oil from 2010's Deepwater Horizon spill. The BP deepwater drilling disaster is estimated to have killed nearly 20% of the Gulf's Bryde's whale population.
Conservation organizations have petitioned federal decision-makers to protect these majestic creatures under the endangered species act, and it's past time to help save these whales.
Sign our petition and urge NOAA Fisheries to take immediate action to save this desperately endangered whale from ship strikes, ocean noise, and oil and gas development before it is too late.
The Gulf Bryde’s whale is one of the world’s most endangered whales. Its numbers are down below 100, its range has largely collapsed to a single canyon off Alabama and Florida, and its very existence is jeopardized by destructive offshore oil and gas development, including the blasting of the seismic airguns used for oil and gas exploration.
Almost 20 percent of this unquestionably endangered species is believed to have perished in the BP deepwater drilling disaster.
We strongly agree with NMFS’ proposal to list the Gulf Bryde’s whale as an endangered species, and we urge the agency to move forward with the listing and to simultaneously designate critical habitat for the species.
The whale should be an icon for environmental recovery of the Gulf. NMFS should not delay action to save this desperately endangered whale from ship strikes, ocean noise, and oil and gas development while listing is pending.