Although North Atlantic right whale babies, known as calves, weigh about 3,000 pounds at birth, these gentle giants are dependent on their mothers and nurse for up to two years. Recently, scientists discovered right whale mothers "whisper" to their calves to avoid attracting predators. Like humans, whale mothers form strong bonds with their young ones and are extremely protective of them.
Tragically, one of these bonds was shattered in late June when a six-month-old baby North Atlantic right whale was found dead. Upon investigation, it was discovered this calf had been struck twice by a ship and had sustained a number of propeller wounds. Because tragedies like this have become more frequent, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has designated the North Atlantic right whale as "critically endangered"—just one step away from extinct. There are only 400 or so of these whales left on the planet, and they are in serious jeopardy of extinction in large part because they are being hit by ships and getting tangled up in fishing gear. In order to save the North Atlantic right whale, we must reduce these threats—and you can help!
The SAVE Right Whales Act (S. 2453), a bill before Congress supported by members of both parties, would make federal funding available for much-needed conservation efforts to protect the North Atlantic right whale. It would also expand research on ways to reduce vessel collisions and entanglement in fishing gear, which would allow both whales and the coastal communities that depend on fishing and other marine industries to peacefully coexist.
It is time to protect this species, before it is too late. Please ask your senators to help save the North Atlantic right whale from extinction by supporting the SAVE Right Whales Act.
Subject Line: Help Save Right Whales by Supporting the SAVE Right Whales Act
In late June, a six-month-old North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead, making him the 31st confirmed death since 2017. Upon investigation, it was discovered the calf had suffered two vessel strikes resulting in a number of propeller wounds. On July 9, after three years of elevated mortality rates, the IUCN uplisted the North Atlantic right whale from "endangered" to "critically endangered," the closest designation to "extinct."
Traversing the waters from Florida to Maine, North Atlantic right whales are synonymous with our nation's Atlantic coast. Unfortunately, due to entanglement in fishing gear and vessel strikes, right whales are in serious danger of extinction, with only about 400 remaining.
The SAVE Right Whales Act (S. 2453) is bipartisan legislation aimed at mitigating these threats. This bill would provide federal funding opportunities for collaborative efforts between states, nongovernmental organizations, and industry leaders to create and implement much-needed conservation efforts to protect the North Atlantic right whale.
Notably, this legislation directs the secretary of commerce to prioritize collaborative projects with members of the fishing and shipping industries and is supported by industry leaders such as the Massachusetts Lobstermen's Association and the Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman's Alliance.
As a constituent, I am urging you to protect the North Atlantic right whale and support the SAVE Right Whales Act (S. 2453).