Scientists Plead With Florida Boaters To Give Critically Endangered Right Whale And Her Calf Space

There are only 70 breeding females left in the world.

Right whale and calf

NOAA Fisheries Southeast

Experts are urging boaters to keep their distance from a critically endangered right whale and her calf as they make their way South along Florida’s East coast. 

The precious family unit was first reported off Crescent Beach back in December. As mom Spindle and baby continue their slow journey towards warmer waters, scientists have issued a desperate plea to boaters: leave them alone.

It is against federal law to be within 500 yards away or above endangered right whales.

"Give them their space, they just need their space," Julie Albert, Marine Resources Council North Atlantic Right Whale Conservation Program coordinator, told Bay News 9. "This is a calving and nursery area for mothers and calves, and they are critically endangered."

The pair were most recently spotted off Juno Beach, where crowds of onlookers gathered to catch a glimpse of them. 

The situation for right whales is dire. There are only 340 of the whales left, with only 70 breeding females. So far, researchers have identified 11 live calves this calving season. 

As NOAA puts it, “every single female North Atlantic right whale and calf are vital to this species’ recovery, adding that they’re “dying faster than they can reproduce, largely due to human causes.” 

The biggest threats to right whales are entanglements and boat strikes. 

You can help by giving them their space and reporting sightings by calling 888-97-WHALE (94253).

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