In the water and in the courts, fight to save endangered right whales grows urgent

With only an estimated 360 left, the fight to save the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species on the planet, has grown urgent — in the water and in the courts, as Rene Ebersole explains in FERN’s latest story, published with Yale Environment 360.

The whales “live along the East Coast, from northern Florida to Canada, where the 50-foot-long, 140,000-pound leviathans must navigate through millions of commercial fishing lines — primarily lobster traps — and one of the world’s most crowded shipping channels,” Ebersole writes. “Too often they become tangled in those lines, or are struck by a ship.

“Scientists are using cutting-edge acoustic technology to monitor right whales and identify where they are coming into contact with ships and fishing lines; rescue teams in the U.S. and Canada are scrambling to disentangle animals when they’re spotted; and environmental advocates are suing state and federal agencies to protect the whales by enforcing provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act.”