Quantcast
Animals
An endangered North Atlantic right whale near a ship off the East Coast. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/NOAA

North Atlantic Right Whale Population Dips Below 450 After 'Deadliest Year' Since Whaling Era

Fifteen North Atlantic right whales—one of the most endangered of all large whales—have already died this year in U.S. and Canadian waters, according to researchers.

"This makes it pretty much the deadliest year we've seen for North Atlantic right whales since the days of whaling," Tonya Wimmer, director of Canada's Marine Animal Response Society, told the Toronto Star.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Monarch butterfly. St. Louis Zoo/Christopher Carter

House Republicans Advance Five Bills to Cripple Endangered Species Act

In party-line votes, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, led by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), advanced five bills today that would hamstring the Endangered Species Act and condemn hundreds of species to extinction. The legislation can now move to the full House floor for further consideration.

In December, Rep. Bishop stated that his goal was to repeal the act in its entirety. These bills represent the foundation of this longstanding goal.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

​North Atlantic Right Whales In Dangerous Decline, Study Confirms

By Giulia C.S. Good Stefani

A new study published in the journal Ecology and Evolution confirms that the North Atlantic right whale—one of the world's most endangered whales—has reversed course and is no longer recovering, but rather, is in perilous decline. The authors estimate the probability that the population is declining at 99.99 percent and found a strong divergence between male and female survival rates, leaving the population with a troubling imbalance. There are substantially more males left than females.

How can the authors (two of whom are from the government's own National Marine Fisheries Service) be 99.99 percent certain that they are correct? Because there are so few whales we can count them. North Atlantic right whales are individually identifiable by the unique, white, callosity patterns on their lower jaw. And, sadly, there aren't that many to count. The estimated population of North Atlantic right whales is fewer than 500.

Keep reading... Show less
Videos
www.youtube.com

Deafening Ocean Noise Threatens Marine Life

Marine life rely on sound to navigate, socialize, and find food and mates, but it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to hear each other. Noise caused by human activity is now an inescapable threat to their lives.

In the video above from Vox, we hear some of the amazing sounds that underwater creatures make, and learn how they're impacted by noise pollution.

From leisure boats to industrial seismic blasting, humans have created an extreme situation. It's hard not to compare it to sound torture, now banned for being cruel and unusual punishment!

If we wouldn't inflict such pain on our worst enemies, then why are we so ruthless to our neighbors in the sea?

Be sure to watch the video to the end to get to the good news!

Popular
Marcia Moreno-Baez / Marine Photobank

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Whales, Sea Turtles From Drowning in Drift Gillnets

Oceana filed a lawsuit in federal court in California late Wednesday challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service's decision to withdraw a proposed rule that would have protected endangered species, including whales and sea turtles, and taken an important step forward in efforts to clean up one of the nation's dirtiest fisheries—drift gillnets targeting swordfish off California. The rule would have required an immediate closure of the fishery if limits on the injury or death of nine protected species were reached.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
www.youtube.com

Canadian Fisherman Killed by Whale He Rescued

Dedicated whale rescuer Joe Howlett was struck and killed Monday by a North Atlantic right whale that he helped free. The critically endangered whale was entangled in commercial fishing gear off of New Brunswick, Canada.

Howlett, a 59-year-old Canadian fisherman, was a co-founder of the Campobello Whale Rescue team and was on a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fast response vessel at the time of the tragedy.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
A polar bear in Alaska's Beaufort Sea. World Wildlife Fund

Trump Administration Approves Exploratory Drilling in Arctic Ocean

The Trump administration on Wednesday approved a plan submitted by Eni US to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean, setting the stage for a devastating oil spill in one of the most biologically rich areas in America's Arctic.

The company, a U.S. subsidiary of the Italian oil and gas giant, has sat on its leases in the Beaufort Sea since acquiring them more than a decade ago. The leases would have expired at the end of this year if Eni did not act on them. The Trump administration provided the public only 21 days to review and comment on the exploration plan and only 10 days to comment on scoping for an environmental assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Researchers from the Marine Animal Response Society examine one of the dead right whales. Marine Animal Response Society

6 Endangered Whales Found Dead This Month in 'Unprecedented Event'

Canadian government officials and marine biologists are investigating the mysterious deaths of six North American right whales. The endangered animals all turned up dead between June 6 and June 23 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off Canada's southeastern coast.

North Atlantic right whales are the rarest of all large whale species and among the rarest of all marine mammal species, with only about 450 right whales in the North Atlantic.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
www.facebook.com

Seismic Blasting Devastates Ocean's Most Vital Organisms

By Francine Kershaw

Seismic airguns exploding in the ocean in search for oil and gas have devastating impacts on zooplankton, which are critical food sources for marine mammals, according to a new study in Nature. The blasting decimates one of the ocean's most vital groups of organisms over huge areas and may disrupt entire ecosystems.

And this devastating news comes on the heels of the National Marine Fisheries Service's proposal to authorize more than 90,000 miles of active seismic blasting. Based on the results of this study, the affected area would be approximately 135,000 square miles.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox