Elza Bouhassira


The North Pacific Right Whale (NPRW) is perhaps the rarest, most endangered large whale species in the world. Only about thirty surviving individuals make up the eastern population, which lives in waters around Alaska. This note aims to highlight the crisis facing eastern NPRWs and the steps that can be taken to support the recovery of this rare whale. The paper first presents information on the history of the species and its importance. It next examines existing international and domestic U.S. legal regimes as well as a pending petition to revise NPRW critical habitat off of Alaska. Finally, it advances six recommendations to support the eastern NPRW's recovery: (1) more data collection should be facilitated; (2) the precarious situation of the NPRW should be shared to raise public awareness and support for protection measures; (3) the critical habitat designation should be expanded, but to a lesser extent than the petition has requested; (4) a whale-ship interaction risk reduction regime should be adopted; (5) whale-friendly fishing gear should be widely adopted; and (6) commercial whaling must remain illegal. It argues that with the right protections, eastern NPRWs can avoid extinction.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Law Commons