Right Whales and other endangered whale species are routinely entangled by fishing gear off the US northeast coastline. The Right Whale’s remaining population on Earth of about 400 whales only lives on the United States Atlantic coastline and along the southern part of Canada’s maritime provinces. These whales have been so devastated by being killed by fishing gear that they are now facing imminent extinction. Yet their killing goes on without letup. Why is that?
The Boston Globe newspaper published an editorial in early 2020 offering a simple solution to the Right Whale’s plight. Entitled “It’s the government’s duty to save right whales — and us” (the Globe apparently believing “us” is not supposed to take responsibility to protect the planet). The editors claimed that, “Fortunately, we know how to save right whales. Even more fortunate, the solutions are fairly simple. All it takes is money.” Really?
If the Globe actually knew anything about Right Whales, it would know that the federal government has spent over $200 million dollars over the last decade or so on its conservation programs for the Right Whales. Bu the killing goes on and is increasing. Maybe NOAA’s inability to spend money wisely has something to do with NOAA being the killer of the Right Whales and only doing what fishermen want it to do. Money is just not the problem. It is also not the solution.
Yet the Globe merrily claims that “someone out there” will front the money to pay for each disgruntled fisherman to have ropeless fishing gear that will not entangle whales. Ignoring the fact that they do not see something wrong in fishermen demanding that someone pay them not to kill whales, these editor pinheads might have checked on the current price for ropeless fishing gear. The leading ropeless gear manufacturer www.edgetech.com charges $5000 per trawl. The cost for a lobsterpot fishermen to convert to ropeless gear is over $200,000 and the gear is only warrantied to last ten years. This means a fisherman would have to equivalently buy, pay off the mortgage and then burn down a house every ten years to stay in business. The cost of converting all New England lobster fishermen to ropeless gear will cost over $1 Billion dollars. The Globe fails to inform who is going to write that check.
Then there is the fact that the lobster fishermen are united in not wanting to convert their industry to ropeless fishing gear. If you handed them a check to buy ropeless gear, any fisherman would just tear it up. Go to the docks of Gloucester and offer any lobster fisherman $100 bucks to buy ropeless gear. Just be prepared to run away fast.
No folks there is actually a far simpler solution that will not cost the taxpayer one penny. It is called MORAL OUTRAGE and OBEYING the LAW. The problem with Right Whale extinction is the Globe and every whale interested NGO (“WINGO”) out there does not get angry with NOAA and the fishing industry for murdering Right Whales and wiping their species off the face of the Earth. Because WINGOS preach “save the fishermen” as much as they boo hoo about Right Whales to make millions of dollars in donations, the Public has been rendered comatose about Right Whale’s coming extinction. Three WINGOS, the New England Aquarium, the Conservation Law Foundation and the Center for Coastal Studies are largely responsible for the continued killing of the Right Whales. They have partnered up with the commercial fishing industry to do propaganda to make sure the Public does not blame the fishing industry for the murder and extinction of the Right Whales.
Then there is the LAW. It is a federal CRIME, a FELONY, to entangle a Right Whale let alone kill and injure it because they caught by fishing gear. Yet no fishermen has ever been either cited or been charged with a crime for violating federal law when a whale gets caught and killed in its fishing gear. No NOAA employee has ever been fired for NOAA’s requiring that fishermen use the very fishing gear that entangles and kills endangered whales and sea turtles. They get promoted instead.
Federal judges have repeatedly ruled that entangling Right Whales in fishing gear is prohibited by the Endangered Species Act. Yet they refuse to ever stop a single fishermen from using the fishing gear that routinely entangles and kills Right Whales. What is up with that.
If anyone does not want the Right Whale to go extinct, then they better stand up and scream “MURDERERS” at NOAA, the fishermen and the WINGOS. Then demand the CRIMINAL PROSECTION of every fisherman who entangles a whale and BOYCOTT every WINGO. Do not give the New England Aquarium, the Conservation Law Foundation or the Center for Coastal Studies one more cent.
We are doing are part too. We are suing NOAA, Maine and Massachusetts in federal court and demanding that the judge TERMINATE their licensing of lobsterpot gear RIGHT NOW.