At the beginning of June 2020, Richard Maximus Strahan – a.k.a. Man Against Xtinction (M.A.X.) – asked Judge Lance Walker of US District Court in Bangor ME to issue a cease and desist order stopping National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and the state of Maine from further licensing lobsterpot and gillnet fishing. As a result of these government sponsored fisheries repeated entangling and killing of Right Whales, they are now prohibited criminal enterprises under the federal Endangered Species Act. Earlier the judge denied NOAA’s attempt to get it to dismiss the M.A.X. lawsuit: Man Against Xtinction v. Maine Department of Marine Resources & NOAA, 1:19-cv-00406-LEW (Dist. ME 2019).
In opposing Whale Safe USA’s (WSUSA) requested stop order, NOAA claimed that WSUSA could not prove that NOAA’s fishing gear using VBR entangled any Right Whales. This was an incredible thing for NOAA to claim. Firstly, everyone knows that NOAA is killing Right Whales and NOAA admits doing so all the time. But NOAA is the only entity allowed to take pictures of Right Whales or examine a dead whale’s body so they routinely hide the evidence. NOAA was now hoping that its hiding the evidence would keep WSUSA from being able to prove in court that NOAA has a long history of murdering endangered whales with its sponsored lobsterpot and gillnet fisheries in the Urban Sea.
WSUSA immediately issued an alert to whale researchers and whale-interested non-governmental organizations (WINGOS) to supply us with evidence proving NOAA’s vertical buoy ropes (VBR) fishing gear entangled and captured Right Whales in the past and in 2020. The WINGOS and most whale researchers refused to come to the aid of the Right Whale. But one man of conscience took the risk of hurting his career by writing WSUSA a letter citing NOAA’s own gathered evidence of its fishing gear entangling a Right Whale and citing to us a specific 2014 NOAA-caused entanglement.
Veterinarian Michael Moore – the leading expert in whale forensics – stated in his 5 July 2020 letter to WSUSA:
“Was fishing gear in these events licensed by NOAA? Statistically it is inconceivable that lethal and non-lethal entanglements of right whales do not occur in federal and state waters in the US Northeast, given the density of vertical buoy lines in right whale critical habitat … However, to this point, there was a case in 2014 of a dead right whale anchored in gear 37 miles south of Nantucket. … It was anchored. Even if that appearance was wrong, the carcass was fresh. Had it come from Canada or the SE US, substantial decomposition would have been evident. Therefore, to suggest that it acquired whatever gear it was entangled in from outside of the NE US would be unreasonable.”
WSUSA is filing Dr. Moore’s letter with the court. It is people of conscience like Dr. Moore that will be the “whistle blowers” now needed to show the world what NOAA and the WINGOS are up in their conspiracy to wipe out the Right Whales.
Letter from Dr. Michael J Moore to Whale Safe USA proves NOAA fishing gear kills whales.