Federal ruling a huge step toward protecting North Atlantic right whales


BOSTON, MASS. (July 8, 2022) – In response to Friday’s ruling by a federal judge finding NOAA Fisheries violated the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act by not adequately protecting North Atlantic right whales from fishing gear entanglements, the New England Aquarium is releasing the following statement from President and CEO Vikki N. Spruill.

“This federal court ruling marks a huge step toward protecting the North Atlantic right whale. The New England Aquarium’s research has shown fishing gear entanglements to be the leading cause of the critically endangered species’ decline, a species with an estimated population of just 336. We know there is a path forward for the lobster fishery and right whales to coexist with bold action and strong commitment from all involved. The Aquarium is committed to working collaboratively with scientists, fishermen, government agencies, and conservationists to save this vital species from extinction.”


Pam Bechtold Snyder –, 617-686-5068