Urge Environmental Protection Agency to Protect Endangered Right Whales

Target: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Goal: Urge the EPA to accept and implement a recovery plan for endangered right whales

The United States’ National Marine Fisheries Service recently proposed a new recovery plan for highly endangered right whales. The plan places strict restrictions on ship speed in the whales’ habitat, lessening the likelihood the animals will be struck and killed by the vessels. Urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to accept and implement this important plan.

Rights whales are large marine mammals native to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans . They are very docile and have massive, round bodies. Because their mouths are full of baleen plates, the right whale’s main food source are tiny organisms called plankton.

Sadly right whales are highly endangered. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, these animals were hunted to the brink of extinction. Their slow-moving bodies and high blubber count made them the “right” whales to kill (hence their name). Hundreds of thousands of these animals lost their lives, their bodies sold to produce lamp oil and margarine.

Today, thanks to strict international conservation efforts, the right whale is making a comeback. Their numbers have increased in the past few decades and new calves are spotted each year. However, the right whale is still in danger. Because of their slow movements, these animals are often struck by cargo and other large ships traveling through open water. The ships’ high speeds do not allow the captains to slow down when a whale is spotted, and many of the animals are struck and killed.

These ship strikes are dangerous to the survival of the right whale species. In some areas of the ocean, only a handful of these animals  remain. Recently, the United States National Marine Fisheries Service drafted a new recovery plan for the North Pacific right whales. The plan places very strict ship speed laws in waters populated by right whales, and ensures harsh penalties for companies who do not obey.

While this new plan is beneficial for right whales, it will only be effective if the EPA actually enforces the ship speed rule. Companies that own vessels traveling too fast in whale habitats must be swiftly and severely punished. If not, the companies will not respect and heed the rule, resulting in more right whale casualties.

Urge the EPA to accept and enforce the new right whale protection proposal. These beautiful creatures need all of the protection they can receive.

PETITION LETTER

Dear U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,

Please accept and implement the new right whale protection proposal submitted by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The proposal forces large shipping vessels to slow down in waters populated by this very endangered animal, ensuring the whale’s survival.

Right whales have been hunted and killed by humans for centuries. Their large bodies and high fat count made them ideal targets for whalers and other hunters in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Because of this, these whales were nearly extinct by 1970.

Thankfully, international protections have allowed the right whale to recover somewhat in the last few decades, but humans still pose a threat to these animals. The most significant danger is ship collisions. Every day, large vessels steam headlong into waters populated by right whales. The whales are slow and cannot swiftly avoid these large, fast-moving ships, resulting in collision and death.

The new proposal submitted by the National Marine Fisheries Service would prevent these kinds of collisions from occurring by placing a ship “speed limit” law in right whale habitats. But you at the EPA must enforce this speed limit rule and punish shipping companies that do not obey. If you do implement the rule, other companies will heed the warning and reduce the speed of their ships in right whale habitats.

Please enforce the new right whale protection proposal. These whales need all the protection they can receive.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Koets via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Ruth Rogers Ruth Rogers says:

    Signed. Thank You! If the ships and boats did not hit these whales, then there would be no need for this petition or for the laws.

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