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Sponsored by: Defenders of Wildlife

Right whales spend much of their time feeding on or near the sea's surface, which make them especially vulnerable to ship strikes and entanglement in commercial fishing gear. One recent study found that 75 percent or more of surviving right whales bear scars from past encounters with commercial fishing lines.

Even worse, new threats to whales and their habitat are emerging, like the use of powerful sonic blasters for offshore energy exploration and military research.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has publicly acknowledged that new habitat protections are urgently needed. The agency agreed in 2010 to act, but so far has done nothing.

Tell NMFS to expand critically-needed ocean habitat for the North Atlantic Right Whale, before it’s too late!

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Tell Donna Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, to Protect Critical Habitat for North Atlantic Right Whales!

Dear Director Wieting,

I'm writing to you today to request that you take urgent action and expand ocean habitat for northern right whales before it's too late.

BOEM is currently considering whether to lease an area offshore of Georgia for wind energy exploration in the right whales' only known calving area, which is not designated as critical habitat. Installation of these facilities and others, will involve intense and harmful noise from pile driving. Once installed, the effect on right whale mothers and calves in a maze of turbines in calving and nursing habitat or along their migratory route is unknown. Any habitat displacement could be disastrous to the species.

Although the right whale has been listed as endangered since 1970, the species is making little progress toward recovery. Your agency has identified entanglement in commercial fishing gear and ship strikes as the two primary factors impeding the North Atlantic right whale's recovery, prioritizing the identification and protection of right whale habitat as essential to recovery.

Your agency has repeatedly stated that the species' survival is dependent on protecting every individual, concluding that the "loss of even a single individual may contribute to the extinction of the species," and that "if current trends continue, the population could go extinct in less than 200 years." As recently as 2008, NMFS stated that "the population can sustain no deaths or serious injuries due to human causes if its recovery is to be assured."

Over the past decade, your own scientists have repeatedly stated that the currently-designated right whale critical habitat is not protective enough and leaves the species vulnerable to injury and death in its most essential habitat areas. The designation of "critical habitat" is one of the fundamental mechanisms by which the ESA aims to conserve and recover imperiled species.

With fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales left, expanding critical habitat to protect the species' key feeding and breeding areas off the Northeast coast, calving grounds off the Southeast coast, and its mid-Atlantic migration route will help prevent this rare and charismatic whale's extinction and ensure its eventual recovery.

Please expand critically-needed ocean habitat for the northern right whale, before it's too late.

Thank you for your consideration.

Petition Signatures


Oct 23, 2014 Susan Kelly Ambler
Oct 23, 2014 Yvette D'herckers
Oct 23, 2014 Mayra Galutza
Oct 23, 2014 Martina Clerici
Oct 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 23, 2014 Lisa Martin
Oct 23, 2014 Janice Valdez
Oct 23, 2014 Carol Taylor
Oct 23, 2014 pamela babb such beautiful creatures...please help us protect them so that our future generations can enjoy them as much as I do. Thanks
Oct 23, 2014 Patricia Hammel
Oct 23, 2014 Leanne Cruickshank It really will be too late if the welfare of whales and other ocean life is not accommodated immediately. What the human race has done to the Earth's oceans is selfish and so very tragic. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it:(
Oct 23, 2014 Tina Collins
Oct 23, 2014 Ekaterina Gorbachova
Oct 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 23, 2014 Kelly Davis please protect the whales
Oct 23, 2014 Dena Hirliman
Oct 23, 2014 Tina Max
Oct 23, 2014 linda beach
Oct 23, 2014 Kata Nova
Oct 23, 2014 Mary Walishko
Oct 23, 2014 WILSON KING
Oct 23, 2014 L Stam-Makken
Oct 23, 2014 J T
Oct 23, 2014 Philippe Jungo
Oct 23, 2014 Gayle Brennan
Oct 23, 2014 Kelly Bula
Oct 23, 2014 Edna Beeman
Oct 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 23, 2014 mandy moon
Oct 23, 2014 Ewa Harrysson
Oct 23, 2014 lilly kastrati Please help whales, they have a heart beat just lije all of us !!!
Oct 23, 2014 Jon Anderson
Oct 23, 2014 Debbie Crowe
Oct 23, 2014 Ann Maloney
Oct 23, 2014 Judy Pasqualini
Oct 23, 2014 karen page
Oct 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 23, 2014 J S
Oct 23, 2014 Amy Browning
Oct 23, 2014 Claudia Baldazzi
Oct 23, 2014 (Name not displayed) The North Atlantic Right Whales are an endangered species. Sadly, it seems like most of the species we SHARE this world with are endangered. HELP THEM! They have as much right to live on this Earth as we do.
Oct 23, 2014 DOLORES MELENDEZ
Oct 23, 2014 Claire Barker
Oct 23, 2014 Emiliano Regosa
Oct 23, 2014 Lillie Buck
Oct 23, 2014 marllett neethling
Oct 23, 2014 Linda Probeck
Oct 23, 2014 jody lansdowne
Oct 23, 2014 Catherine Souriau
Oct 23, 2014 Colton Linnertz

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