Tags: humpback | whale | population | rebounds

Humpback Whale Population Rebounds, Protections May Ease

Image: Humpback Whale Population Rebounds, Protections May Ease
A Humpback whale jumps in the surface of the Pacific Ocean at the Uramba Bahia Malaga natural park in Colombia. (Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015 06:53 AM

Humpback whale populations have bounced back since they were added to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) list in 1970, and U.S. fisheries managers this week proposed removing most of the species from the list altogether.

Reuters reported via Yahoo News that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has specifically proposed that the whales be recognized as 14 distinct population groups around the world.

Ten of those need no further protections, while 2 would remain classified as Endangered, while 2 would be classified as threatened.

"The return of the iconic humpback whale is an ESA success story," Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries, said in a statement. "As we learn more about the species — and realize the populations are largely independent of each other — managing them separately allows us to focus protection on the animals that need it the most."

A 90-day public comment period is being opened by the NOAA Fisheries so that public feedback can be obtained regarding the new proposal.

"To be able to bring a species to a point where their population is doing well and they no longer meet those requirements to be on the Endangered Species Act, I think that is a really important success for us as a nation," Donna Weiting, the director of the NOAA's Office of Protected Resources, said during a news conference, The Associated Press reported.

"So I think it’s quite a big deal."

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Humpback whale populations have bounced back since they were added to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) list in 1970, and U.S. fisheries managers this week proposed removing most of the species from the list altogether.
humpback, whale, population, rebounds
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2015-53-21
Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015 06:53 AM
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