Protect Our Oceans

Some hope for Right whales

They're far from out of the woods--but scientists say Right whale numbers are no longer in steep decline


NOAA via Flickr | CC-BY-2.0

For the advocates, scientists and public fighting to keep the North Atlantic right whale from going extinct, this month saw some good news: scientists say that the whale’s population has remained stable over the last year.

If this were most other species, this wouldn’t be a cause to celebrate. Most whale populations are still far smaller than they were before large-scale whaling. But for the North Atlantic right whale, which has seen its numbers plummet from nearly 500 in the early 2010s to 350 individuals today, halting the decline can give us some hope that we can help the whales recover.

But we can’t let this small glimmer of hope lead to inaction:  the population is still so small that each Right whale death drives the species closer to extinction.

That’s why it’s critical we do everything we can to keep these whales safe.

Whether it’s slowing down boats when Right whales are around, pledging to buy Right-whale safe lobster, or reducing the amount of dangerous fishing gear in their habitats, our actions will be the difference in whether future scientific reports are filled with hope for this species.

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