The state of Alaska has taken action to have federal protection removed from North Pacific humpback whales, who it believes are no longer in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game filed a petition with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) this week seeking to have a population of North Pacific humpback whales who travel between Alaska and Hawaii every year declared as a distinct population that should be delisted.
There were believed to be as few as 1,000 humpbacks left when whaling was stopped in 1966. A few years later they were protected under the Endangered Species and Conservation Act of 1969 and then by the Endangered Species Act. Now scientists believe that there are more than 21,000 humpbacks in the North Pacific.
The population the state wants removed is known as the Central North Pacific subpopulation, which is the largest of three subpopulations in the North Pacific. Officials in Alaska believe that recovery goals have been met and that the Central North Pacific population is thriving and no longer needs to be considered in danger of extinction, either now or in the forseeable future. As far as other motives go, state officials also said that the law represents an unnecessary regulatory burden on industries that include fishing, oil and gas, reports the AP.
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Dellisting humpbacks by Alaska does not protect then from ship collisions, fishing lines, noise pollution and ocean acidification. Get your act together!
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