Fishing gear is one of the leading threats to humpback whales as they can become entangled in them. An estimate showed that the National Marine Fisheries Service kills at least one humpback whale every year in this way.
Catherine Kilduff, an attorney at the Center, said, “Endangered humpback whales can’t dodge outdated fishing gear like strings of sablefish pots. This is a critical habitat, and it shouldn’t be a death trap of fishing gear. The Fisheries Services knows the whale entanglement threat is growing because of climate change and its own mismanagement, and it should apply that knowledge to protect whales. Humpbacks are our magnificent, acrobatic neighbors, and we need to protect them from this lethal fishing gear.”
The lawsuit brings to light the agency’s failure to understand the critical nature of the humpback whale population, allowing certain fishing practices that put humpback whales directly in harm’s way.
The solution to this problem would be to ban the use of static vertical lines and rope nets. There is now gear available that is designed to help whales get free if they become trapped, so there is no excuse for the National Marine Fisheries Services to continue to promote harmful fishing practices.
Sign this petition to tell the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to require all vessels in the Gulf of Mexico to reduce their traveling speeds and protect the lives of all whales.
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