STATEMENT: Beached right whale reportedly found dead in Martha’s Vineyard

Media Contacts
Kelsey Lamp

Director, Protect Our Oceans Campaign, Environment America

BOSTON — A North Atlantic right whale reportedly was found dead on the beach at Martha’s Vineyard on Monday. This is the first of this endangered species to wash ashore in 2024. However, this type of incident has been all too common in recent decades as the right whale population has plummeted. Fewer than 360 now exist and according to the Fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, right whales have birthed just 14 calves this season. NOAA Fisheries deems their declining numbers an Unusual Mortality Event, a marker of eventual extinction. 

In response, Environment America’s Protect Our Oceans Campaign Director Kelsey Lamp released the following statement:

“Yet another North Atlantic right whale has washed ashore dead on a U.S. beach. Every one that does so is one too many. While the cause of death is not yet certain, we know how to stop this ‘unusual mortality event:’ We need to enforce and expand vessel speed rules and limit the use of ropes that repeatedly entangle and maim right whales. If we don’t take this simple, commonsense measure, we will be guilty witnesses to extinction.”