MAINE COALITION FOR
NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALES

MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT RIGHT WHALES IN MAINE

The Maine Coalition for North Atlantic Right Whales has compiled common myths that are frequently circulated about right whales in Maine. Learn more about these myths, and get the facts, along with links to sources and peer-reviewed scientific research.

GET THE FACTS

Statement on the Seafood Watch "Red List" Designation of Lobster
September 15, 2022

Entanglement is the single largest threat to the survival of right whales, despite past efforts by fisheries to reduce these accidental encounters. Scientists estimate that as many as 67 right whales have been killed by US fisheries since 2010 (https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/public/nema/PRD/DraftFisheriesBiOp011421.pdf, table 57, p. 225-226).

Scientific evidence shows that entanglement risk exists anywhere whales and fixed fishing gear overlap, as it does for the US lobster fishery. If NOAA is to meet its legal mandate to protect whales and prevent their extinction, further changes to lobster fishing gear and practices must be made.

Our group understands that the recent Seafood Watch designation is unwelcome news for many lobster fishermen. We believe that our fishing communities must not face additional regulatory burden without meaningful financial and practical support.

We will continue to advocate for funding, training, and tools that enable whale-safe fishing practices. We ask that our state and fishery leaders stop denying responsibility for this issue and undermining the science. Instead we should be working together to invest in solutions that allow the safe co-existence of fishermen and whales.

ABOUT THE MAINE COALITION FOR NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALES

The Maine Coalition for North Atlantic Right Whales is a group of Maine scientists, educators and concerned citizens whose mission is to provide the public with accurate facts and scientific data pertaining to the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, and to advocate for its recovery. We are committed to fact-based education about the human-caused threats right whales face along the Maine coast, and throughout their coastal ocean home on the eastern seaboard of North America.