Best Management Practices for North Atlantic Right Whales During Offshore Wind Energy Construction and Operations Along the U.S. East Coast

Report

Title: Best Management Practices for North Atlantic Right Whales During Offshore Wind Energy Construction and Operations Along the U.S. East Coast
Authors: NRDC
Publication Date:
March 01, 2019
Pages: 4
Publisher: NRDC

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

NRDC (2019). Best Management Practices for North Atlantic Right Whales During Offshore Wind Energy Construction and Operations Along the U.S. East Coast. Report by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). pp 4.
Abstract: 

North Atlantic right whales are at a critical moment. At their current rate of decline, and in the absence of immediate conservation measures, we will lose this majestic animal within only a few decades. Their most serious threats are fishing gear entanglement, including chronic entanglement where they may drag fishing gear for months or even years, and vessel collisions, one of the leading causes of mortality for all large whales. The probability of a whale suffering a serious injury or mortality from a vessel collision significantly increases when vessels of any length travel at speeds greater than ten knots. North Atlantic right whales are also subjected to numerous stressors during their annual migration along the eastern seaboards of Canada and the United States, including significant levels of noise pollution generated by human activities. Underwater noise can mask important communication calls and reduce foraging success as well as the ability to find mates. Science tells us that such additional stressors force whales to expend extra energy, which negatively affects their health and ability to reproduce successfully. For the North Atlantic right whale to survive and recover, threats must be avoided, minimized, and mitigated to the fullest extent possible.

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