Policy ForumEcology

North Atlantic Right Whales in Crisis

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Science  22 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5734, pp. 561-562
DOI: 10.1126/science.1111200

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The survival of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) is seriously threatened by mortality caused by ships and entanglements in fishing gear. Demographic modeling indicates that the population is declining despite efforts to reduce anthropogenic mortalities, and in spite of recent increases in calving. The authors of this Policy Forum recommend immediate emergency management actions to reduce shipping and entanglement mortalities in right whales, so as to avoid a catastrophic population decline and inevitable extinction.