“If current trends hold, the U.S. will earn the uniquely ignominious distinction of presiding over the extinction of three large whale species which largely or solely inhabit our waters. The extinction of any one of these whales would be a black eye for American conservation while the loss of all three would be an utter disgrace.
These three whale species principally or solely inhabit American waters in the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. All have been steadily declining, and their remaining populations are now on their last legs:
- The critically endangered North Atlantic right whale faces rising mortality from entanglements with fishing gear and its numbers have been reduced to only approximately 350 individuals.
- By the time the Gulf of Mexico or Bryde’s whale was finally recognized as a distinct subspecies in 2019, its population was down to approximately 60 remaining whales.
- The North Pacific right whale is at growing risk from expanded ship traffic in warming Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska waters has only about 30 individuals left.”