Most Humpback Whales taken off endangered list
Earlier this week, we talked about how the Giant Panda was no longer on the endangered list. Well even more good news this week for all animal lovers. Most Humpback Whales join the Giant Panda, and have been taken off the endangered list. All Humpback Whales were listed as endangered by the US Government back in 1970. Commercial whaling was the cause of the dwindling number of humpback whales.
However nowadays Humpback Whales are grouped into 14 distinct populations. After a scientific review, nine of those populations no longer need to be on the endangered list. Angela Somma, Chief of the Endangered Species Division, said that “Most of the Humpback Whale populations have increased, and increased substantially from where they were.”
Whales still considered endangered include populations in Central America, off northwest Africa, in the Arabian sea, and in the western north pacific, and a population near Mexico. For the Whales that are no longer considered endangered, nothing will change. They will still be covered under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and under the International Whaling Commission Moratorium on hunting them. This was imposed in 1982, and will remain in effect.
Somma said “That many of the day-to-day protections and activities will continue to occur.” Officials have filed regulations about how close a vessel can come to whales, and about maintaining proper distance. Collisions with ships are a danger to whales. They also face fear of getting tangled in ships nets. There have been 40 reports off the west coast just the first half of this year.
Just like the Giant Pandas, international efforts have succeeded in saving another species from certain extinction. Hopefully efforts like this can continue, and the rest of the Humpback Whale population can follow, and even more endangered animals join the formally endangered family.
Sources: Associated Press