New England Aquarium Applauds Historic Conservation Investment

Photograph of North Atlantic Right Whale “Musketeer”. Photo credit: New England Aquarium, taken under NOAA research permit #25739

BOSTON – The New England Aquarium is celebrating the recent announcement of a historic $82 million federal grant given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the Inflation Reduction Act, hailing it as the largest climate and conservation investment in our nation’s history and a vital step in protecting North Atlantic Right Whales.

Announced earlier this week, funding from the award will be split into several categories to target reducing vessel strikes and fishing entanglements, the two leading causes of death for right whales, whose numbers have been in decline since 2011 due to man-made threats that not only endanger their lives but also their females’ ability to reproduce.

As climate change has altered the migration patterns of right whales and led them increasingly into the paths of marine vessels, heightened wildlife monitoring and habitat modeling including spatial analyses of vessel risks and enhancing maritime communications is critical in reducing whale collisions.

By working with fishermen to accelerate the adoption of ropeless or “on-demand” fishing methods, the Aquarium hopes to reduce entanglements, the scarring from which can lead to maternal mortality even among whales who have been freed from entanglement.

“The threat of extinction for North Atlantic Right Whales means bold actions are needed to ensure this species survives,” said Dr. Jessica Redfern, Associate Vice President of Ocean Conservation Science in the Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life.

“We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for making these funds available for such a crucial cause,” she said.

There are currently less than 350 North Atlantic right whales remaining in the wild.


By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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