Thursday, September 16, 2021

Play

Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.

Play

Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Survey: Widespread Public Support for Protecting Right Whales

Play

Friday, July 23, 2021   

BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear, specifically, the vertical lines that connect lobster and crab traps from the sea floor to the surface.

Katharine Deuel, marine conservation officer for the Pew Charitable Trusts, which released the poll, said nine of 10 East Coast residents surveyed said it is important for the government to protect right whales.

"The North Atlantic Right Whale is a species that is currently in crisis," Deuel explained. "It is a critically endangered species, and there are only about 350 individual right whales left swimming in our waters."

Deuel added more than 70% of respondents support closing high-risk areas for whales to certain fishing gear, and nearly 90% support fishermen using gear that doesn't harm whales, which is becoming more widely available.

She pointed out such solutions can allow right whales and fishermen to coexist, and her group is among those that filed an emergency action petition with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, which also joined the petition, added there have been 34 confirmed deaths of right whales in U.S. and Canadian waters in the last four years.

He noted said even when whales do not die, getting caught up in vertical lines can cause them major stress.

"Scientists actually believe that it is one of the causes of declining birth rates among the right whale population, the sort of stress of these encounters is actually making it harder for them to reproduce," Hellerstein reported.

Hellerstein stated there is something about North Atlantic right whales that resonates with people.

"You know, these animals are gentle giants," Hellerstein remarked. "They grow to be about the size of a school bus, and yet they feed almost entirely off of these small crustaceans."

The emergency action petition recommends prohibiting fishing with vertical lines in a few specific locations with the highest likelihood of right whale entanglement, one yearlong closure south of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, and five seasonal closures off the coast of Maine.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.


get more stories like this via email
Oregon's Hispanic population grew 30% from 2010 to 2020. (Gstudio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…


Social Issues

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…


Arkansas' rental-assistance program has distributed funds to more than 3,200 households in the state. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…

Environment

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…

Indiana ranks 44th out of 50 states for bankruptcy. (Andriy Blokhin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …

Health and Wellness

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021