Tell NOAA: Protect right whales from deadly entanglements

Docket No. 201221-0351

NOAA's proposed plan to protect North Atlantic right whales is an important first step, but it doesn't go far enough to address the most pressing threats facing the critically endangered species. As such, I urge NOAA to incorporate the following actions into its plan:

1. Require larger and longer seasonal closures of right whale habitat. This is necessary to reduce the chances of right whale entanglement in vertical fishing lines.

2. Transition to ropeless fishing gear. Traditional vertical fishing lines, which extend from the surface to the seafloor, threaten the safety of the species; whales often become entangled in lines while swimming. Ropeless fishing gear can prevent the threat of entanglement, injury and death.

These protections are necessary to reduce the threat of extinction and safeguard the beloved North Atlantic right whale for generations to come.