New York Ships Avoid the “Area to Protect Endangered Whales”


Maksim Romashkin

The federal government is making an attempt to protect endangered whale species.

Sophia Cacoilo, Reporter

As the North Atlantic Right Whale begins to migrate to warmer water, the federal government has established a voluntary protected zone southeast of New York City to protect this critically endangered species. Crossing ships are told to either slow down or completely avoid the area south of Long Island to east of New Jersey. This is to limit any collisions to the endangered species of whales.

Each year, the whales head south from Canada and New England to a warmer water location close to South Carolina, Georgia and Florida’s east coast, with the location being the main birth and feeding location for the whales. This created the need for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to enforce a protected zone south of Long Island and east of New Jersey to remain until this Sunday, December 5th.

There are estimated to only be 336 Right Whales left in the world. The whale has been listed as an endangered species since 1970, being considered one of the rarest marine mammals in the world, with researchers expected to closely monitor the species for offspring during calving seasons to see a possible increase in the population.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “In recent years, researchers have recorded more deaths among adult females than adult males leading to a population with more males than females, a bias that is increasing over time.”

There has been a decrease in the Right Whales population since 2017 due to human drivers. The species can live to be 100 years old, however scientists say the average lifespan of the Right Whales has decreased to 45 years for females and 65 for males, creating difficulties in solving the population issue.

These whales swim and rest just below the water, making the likely hood of collision to be higher than with other whale species. Along with this, the loud noises from boats can stress the females out, which is only worsened by them frequently becoming entangled in fishing gear.