Friday, 15 April 2016

Right whales threatened by planned seismic surveys along Mid- and Southeastern Atlantic seaboard, say scientists

Date: April 14, 2016
Source: Wildlife Conservation Society

A series of seismic surveys for oil and gas planned for the mid- and southeastern Atlantic coastal areas of the United States pose a substantial threat to one of the world's most endangered whale species, according to a group of renowned marine mammal scientists urging a halt to the surveys in a statement released today.

In an open letter sent to President Obama, the 27 leading right whale experts -- including scientists from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, New England Aquarium, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Duke University, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution -- stated that seismic oil and gas surveys planned in the waters between Delaware and Florida would significantly impact the acoustically sensitive North Atlantic right whale, an endangered species numbering no more than 500 animals, and "would jeopardize its survival."

Last month, the administration excluded oil and gas leases in the same regions for the next five years, but the controversial seismic surveys may continue as planned.

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