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  • Division of Marine Fisheries

News  New Video Highlights Right Whale Conservation, DMF and Industry Efforts to Protect Right Whales

  • Division of Marine Fisheries
Screenshot of new video

DMF’s Seafood Marketing Program created an educational video highlighting the ongoing efforts to protect right whales. The short video features Director Dan McKiernan speaking on camera about all the state’s and region’s significant conservation accomplishments and the state of affairs of right whale conservation. 

McKiernan focused on the NOAA Fisheries “Partner in the Spotlight” award for leading the way in implementing regulations to address both vessel strikes and entanglements in fishing gear. He recognized that none of our success to conserve right whales would be possible without the cooperation of the fishing industry that includes both lobster harvesters and vessel operators. 

In the video, he credited members of the industry not just because it’s the right thing to do, but more importantly because the general public and seafood consumers need to be educated on all the incredible accomplishments to keep right whales safe. The waters of Cape Cod Bay have the highest concentrations of this endangered species throughout the species’ range. 

It is routine for the aerial survey team flying over Cape Cod Bay to identify between 100 and 200 whales during our peak season of late March through Early May. That’s an awesome abundance of right whales in this small embayment  - considering the population there’s only about 356. And over the course of each years field season, about 2/3 of all known right whales can be expected in Massachusetts waters.  

This video also helps industry members overcome some of the negative publicity caused by a west coast conservation organization recommending consumers boycott all trap-caught lobsters in the U.S. and Canada due to the risk of entanglement. It is a constant struggle to inform the public about the status of right whales and the sacrifices made by lobster harvesters to prevent entanglements. Because Massachusetts has the most stringent rules governing trap fishing in the U.S., it’s critical to educate consumers about all the great work that has been accomplished over the past few years-going back more than two decades-to promote co-existence of endangered right whales and our maritime industries. Watch the full video here.

By Dan McKiernan, Director 

  • Division of Marine Fisheries 

    The Division of Marine Fisheries manages the state’s commercial and recreational saltwater fisheries and oversees other services that support the marine environment and fishing communities.
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