Target: Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Dr. Richard Merrick
Goal: Protect the habitat of North Atlantic right whales
North Atlantic right whales, named such because they live in the Atlantic Ocean, are in danger of becoming extinct. While the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) expanded whale-friendly territory off of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida in 2007, there is still much more that needs to be done to ensure safety for this critically endangered species.
Due to their feeding habits, these whales spend much of their time at or near the ocean’s surface. These whales are therefore very vulnerable to collisions with ships and becoming entangled in fishing gear. In fact, a study analyzing data collected from 1980–2002 found that over 75% of whales examined had been scarred by fishing equipment at least once. Compound this with all of the other man-made dangers to whales on the seas, plastic pollution and intense sonar use to name a few, and it becomes clear that these whales are in serious peril.
There are several ways that we can make our oceans safer for this critically endangered species. One especially good option is to expand areas that are designated to be important whale zones. Expanding these areas can allow ships to plot routes that avoid these areas, which can significantly decrease the chance of whale-ship collisions and accidental entanglement in fishing equipment.
By signing the petition below, you will urge Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Dr. Richard Merrick to protect these whales’ environment, both by expanding whale-friendly zones and by reducing the use of fishing gear that inadvertently harms these whales.
Dear Dr. Richard Merrick,
North Atlantic right whales are an extremely endangered species and they need our help if they are going to survive. The NMFS expanded whale-friendly territory on the Atlantic Ocean in 2007. This was a great step forward, but we must continue to push for more whale safety on our seas.
Due to their feeding habits, these whales spend much of their time at or near the ocean’s surface. These whales are therefore very vulnerable to collisions with ships and becoming entangled in fishing gear. Once you also consider plastic pollution and other man-made dangers on the sea, it becomes clear that more action must be taken.
I urge you to protect these whales by increasing whale-friendly zones on the Atlantic Ocean and by reducing the use of fishing gear that inadvertently harms these whales. Please use all of your influence to ensure that the Atlantic Ocean is made safer for this critically endangered species.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ‘MemoryCatcher’ via Pixabay