North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the global authority when it comes to whether a species is at risk of extinction, yesterday added the North Atlantic Right Whale of the eastern U.S. to its list of Critically Endangered species (elevated from Endangered) that are on the brink of extinction.  The IUCN also “upgraded” 13 different species of lemurs to the Critically Endangered list along with 20 other lemur species at risk of imminent extinction.

Why This Matters:  These species are on the verge of going extinct not because of anything they did, but rather because of us humans.

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NOAA Delays Urgently Needed Right Whale Protections Again

NOAA Delays Urgently Needed Right Whale Protections Again

The Boston Globe’s David Abel reported on Twitter last week that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is, according to court filings, delaying new protections for critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales even after a court found the agency in violation of the Endangered Species Act for its failure to take action to protect them.

Why This Matters:  There are fewer than 400 North Atlantic Right Whales remaining.
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Can New Technology Save the North Atlantic Right Whale? Yes, But Only If It’s Used

Can New Technology Save the North Atlantic Right Whale? Yes, But Only If It’s Used

Earlier this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report on large whale entanglements, looking at data from 2007 to 2018, and found that entanglements are up significantly, with 80% of those involving fishing gear. 

Why This Matters:  Emerging technologies that eliminate the ropes in the water column have been developed — the “catch” is getting fishers to use it.

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Fishers Caught In Coronavirus Storm, Some Change Business Model While Others Sit It Out

Fishers Caught In Coronavirus Storm, Some Change Business Model While Others Sit It Out

With many fishermen all around the U.S. forced to stop fishing due to restaurant closures and lack of tourism caused by the coronavirus, many are changing their businesses to sell directly to supermarkets and other retailers for home consumption. 

Why This Matters:  Like family farms, in the U.S., family-owned and small fishing businesses almost all struggle to stay in business due to stiff competition from cheap imports, and that was before COVID -19 struck.

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Second Failing Right Whale Spotted Off Mass Coast Entangled In Fishing Gear

Second Failing Right Whale Spotted Off Mass Coast Entangled In Fishing Gear

USA Today reported late Friday that government scientists have spotted off 45 miles off the coast of Nantucket a 19-year-old female right whale named “Dragon” appears to be in poor health because of a fishing buoy lodged in one corner of her mouth. 

Why This Matters:  It’s not just one or two whales — the fate of the species hangs in the balance.  I

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Right Whales Get Right of Way

Right Whales Get Right of Way

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wasted no time returning from the shutdown and extended restrictions on shipping in an area off Cape Cod on the way into Boston Harbor to protect the highly endangered Northern right whale.  The “Ship Strike Rule” mandates speed restrictions of no more than 10 knots for vessels 65 feet or greater in certain locations and at certain times of the year along the east coast of the United States.

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