Keep speeds to 10 knots or less to reduce potential for injury. Although the cause often remains unknown, scientists can sometimes identify strandings due to disease, harmful algal blooms, vessel strikes, fishing gear entanglements, pollution exposure, and underwater noise. Before a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1985, all populations of humpback whales were greatly reduced, some by more than 95 percent. In the same year, it was designated as "depleted" under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Under the ESA, NOAA Fisheries is required to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation and survival of listed species. Efforts to implement recovery for humpback whales include: Marine protected areas for humpback whales. Advocating for voluntary speed reductions in Dynamic Management Areas. However, the portion of whales that become entangled and do not survive is unknown. The steps include: Requiring vessels to slow down in specific areas during specific times (Seasonal Management Areas). If this is not possible, second best is for vessels to slow down and keep a lookout. When an entangled whale is reported, responders can be authorized to evaluate the entanglement and, in cases where the entanglement is life threatening to the animal and a response can be carried out safely, a team may attempt to cut the whale free from gear. Humpback whales are found in every ocean in the world. Five populations are still listed as either endangered (Central America, Western North Pacific, Arabian Sea, and Cape Verde Islands/Northwest Africa DPSs) or threatened (the Mexico DPS). This, along with hunting in the Antarctic Oceanbeginning in 1904, sharply reduced whale populations. Humpback whale at water's surface. The sister sanctuary agreement strengthens coordination and management efforts between the two sanctuaries and improves humpback whale recovery in the North Atlantic. WhaleSENSE is a voluntary education and recognition program developed by NOAA Fisheries and partners in collaboration with the whale watching industry to recognize whale watching companies committed to responsible practices in the U.S. Atlantic and Alaska. Females produce a single calf, on average every 2 to 3 years, although annual calving has been documented in some individuals. The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) has moved from Vulnerable to Least Concern, meaning it is at low risk of extinction, although two subpopulations are Endangered.The southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) has also moved to Least Concern.“Humpbacks and southern right whales are making a comeback in much of their range mainly because they have been protected … Some populations swim 5,000 miles from tropical breeding grounds to colder, productive feeding grounds. NMFS Permit #14296, New Study Shows Economic Importance of Alaska’s Whale-Watching Industry, Sans Tourists, Juneau Scientists Partner to Capture Data on Humpback Whales, Humpback Whale Disentangled Off New York All Thanks to a Team Effort, Team Frees Severely Entangled Humpback Whale in Monterey Bay. Once entangled, if they are able to move the gear, the whale may drag and swim with attached gear for long distances, ultimately resulting in fatigue, compromised feeding ability, or severe injury, which may lead to reduced reproductive success and death. In 2016, we revised the ESA listing for the humpback whale to identify 14 distinct population segments. Because humpback whales are often found close to shore and active near the surface, they tend to be popular whale watching attractions. Learn more about marine mammal stock assessments, Find humpback whale stock assessment reports. Listing of Humpback Whale Under the Endangered Species Act Summary. As part of the West Indies breeding stock, Gulf of Maine humpback whales were removed from the US Endangered Species List in 2016, but continue to be protected under the US Marine Mammal Protection Act. Listed as endangered by the State of Alaska. There are several areas where U.S.-managed stocks of humpback whales are the center of whale watching industries, including: The Gulf of Maine (particularly within the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary), the southeastern U.S. and West Indies, California, Alaska (particularly southeast Alaska), and the Hawaiian Islands. Understanding and addressing the effects of ocean noise. The NOAA’s proposal would remove … Humpback whales are vulnerable to vessel strikes throughout their range, but the risk is much higher in some coastal areas with heavy ship traffic. During the 20th century, over 200,000 humpbacks were taken, reducing th… In Alaska, we have a network of trained entanglement responders around the state. Scientists have revealed the return of critically endangered Antarctic blue whales to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, 50 years after whaling all but wiped them out. Some strandings can serve as indicators of ocean health, giving insight into larger environmental issues that can have implications for human health and welfare. In the Atlantic, we have taken both regulatory and non-regulatory steps to reduce the threat of vessel collisions to North Atlantic right whales, which may also reduce the threat to humpback whales, which occur in the same waters. Known for their ability to “sing” and learn songs , they migrate the same routes many times over, returning repeatedly to feeding and breeding locations. Recovery plan for humpback whales finalized (PDF 2,375 kB) 2001. Humpback whales probably live about 80 to 90 years. Recommending alternative shipping routes and areas to avoid. One reason for this is the improved management of whaling that began in the mid-1970s, when management by population or stock was introduced. Humpback whales carry unique white patterns on the undersides of their tail flukes (the rear flippers) just like human fingerprints. Humpback whales were first classified as in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1970. Most populations of humpback whales no longer need endangered species protections, according to a decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Of the 14 distinct populations, 12 are estimated to number more than 2,000 humpback whales each and two are estimated to number fewer than 2,000. Educating the whale watching/tourism industry and vessel operators on responsible viewing of humpback whales. NOAA Fisheries conducts research on the biology, behavior, and ecology of the humpback whale. Our work includes: Monitoring humpback whale abundance and mortality in U.S. waters. No. Developing mandatory vessel reporting systems. Northern hemisphere humpback whales tend to have fewer white markings. It is well known that overexploitation by the whaling industry led to serious declines in many of the world’s populations of whales, although thankfully no species was brought to extinction and many are now in the process of recovering, although not all. After an 11 month gestation, calves are born 13 to 16 feet in length. NOAA Fisheries co-manages the sanctuary with the State of Hawaii, conducts research on humpback whales, and operates a sanctuary education and learning center. Not disrupt the normal behavior or prior activity of a humpback whale. Information from these research projects can be used to inform management actions that protect the humpback whale and reduce their human-related mortalities. South Asian River dolphin (Platanista gangetica)EN 5. In order, with the most endangered first, and their IUCN status listed: 1. At least four humpback whale populations occur in the North Pacific: Seven populations of humpback whales are found in the Southern Hemisphere, all of which feed in Antarctic waters. North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered large whale species in the world. These two populations migrate south during the winter to calve and mate in the West Indies and Cape Verde (off the coast of Africa), and possibly in other areas. Never approach or try to save an injured or entangled animal yourself—it can be dangerous to both the animal and you. NOAA Fisheries worked nationally and internationally to identify and apply protections for humpback whales. Learn more about vessel strikes and marine animals. One of the humpback's most interesting behaviors is bubble-net feeding, a complex and coordinated tactic for capturing many fish at once. The ultimate goal of the Humpback Whale Recovery Plan is to help humpback whales thrive, allowing every population to be reclassified from “endangered” to “threatened,” and ultimately removed from the ESA's list of threatened and endangered species. The worldwide humpback population has been listed under the Endangered Species Act since 1970 after the whales were nearly wiped out by commercial hunting. Together with our partners, we undertake numerous activities to support the directives of the humpback whale recovery plan, protect humpbacks, and reduce adverse impacts from human activities. Our work includes: Reducing the risk of entanglement in fishing gear. Its long pectoral fins inspired its scientific name, Megaptera, which means “big-winged.” Humpback whales are a favorite of whale watchers―they are often active at the water surface, for example, jumping out of the water and slapping the surface with their pectoral fins or tails. The ESA requires that after a species is removed from the list of threatened and endangered species because it has recovered, we monitor the status of that species for a minimum of five years. Vessel-based harassment, Alaska, An average whale lives about 50 years. In the Atlantic, we implemented the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to reduce the incidental mortality and serious injury of right whales, humpback whales, and fin whales in gillnets and trap/pot fisheries along the East Coast. You may also contact your closest NOAA Office of Law Enforcement field office during regular business hours. NOAA Fisheries worked worldwide to identify and apply protections for humpback whales. Humpback whales filter-feed on small crustaceans (mostly krill) and small fish, consuming up to 3,000 pounds of food per day. Map showing locations of the 14 distinct population segments of humpback whales worldwide. Monitoring Humpback Whale Predation On Herring In Prince William Sound The Years of the North Atlantic Humpback Project in 1992 to 1993 and the follow-up project, More North Atlantic Humpbacks, in 2003 to 2005 were international collaborations to monitor humpback whale populations, investigate human-caused deaths, and conduct various other surveys, including research on humpback songs, across many humpback habitats. Studying humpback whale population structure. All humpback whales are protected under the MMPA and three stocks are listed as depleted (i.e.,  they have fallen below their optimum sustainable population levels). NOAA Fisheries has made significant progress toward their protection worldwide. Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. Collisions between whales and large vessels can injure or kill whales, damage the vessels, and injure passengers, but they often go unnoticed and unreported. Tail fluke patterns, in combination with varying shapes and sizes of the dorsal fin and/or prominent scars, are unique to each animal. One feeding method seen in Alaska waters, called "bubble net feeding," involves using curtains of air bubbles to condense prey. NOAA Fisheries conducted a global status review of humpback whales. They travel great distances during their seasonal migration with some animals migrating 5,000 miles between high-latitude summer feeding grounds and winter mating and calving areas in tropical waters. Read the recovery plan for the humpback whale. Determining the size of humpback whale populations helps resource managers determine the success of conservation measures and regulations. …, Inter-agency agreements have been established between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Department of Interior and the Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and…, NOAA Fisheries is not operating the Alaska Marine Mammal Observer Program (AMMOP) due to a lack of available resources to fund additional observations of the southeast Alaska salmon drift gillnet fishery. The Arabian Sea humpback whales face unique threats, given that they do not migrate, but instead feed and breed in the same, relatively constrained geographic location. NMFS distributed draft Recovery Plan for the Humpback Whale (PDF 116 kB) 1991. Foreign, We, NOAA Fisheries, propose to designate critical habitat for the endangered Western North Pacific distinct population segment (DPS), the endangered Central America DPS, and the threatened Mexico DPS of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) pursuant…, NOAA Fisheries is announcing six public hearings related to our recently published proposed rule to designate critical habitat for humpback whales under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) and three public hearings related to our recently published…, NOAA Fisheries, in an effort to increase preparedness for wildlife response under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, has drafted guidelines for marine mammal response in disaster situations in Cook Inlet and Kodiak, Alaska entitled "Cook Inlet and …, Effective July 2, 2001, NOAA Fisheries issued a final rule to establish measures to protect humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in waters within 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) of Alaska. The Hawaii population, which breeds in the main Hawaiian Islands and feeds in most of the known feeding grounds in the North Pacific, particularly Southeast Alaska and northern British Columbia. Some populations (such as those off eastern and western Australia) are believed to number in excess of 20,000 animals—a remarkable recovery given that the same populations were almost eradicated by whaling almost sixty years ago. In 2011, the humpback whale was downlisted from Threatened to Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Commission on Environmental Cooperation Humpback Whale Conservation Action Plan for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The ESA requires that after a species is removed from the list of threatened and endangered species because it has recovered, we monitor the status of that species for a minimum of five years. Chilean dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia)NT 8. Critical Habitat. In addition, federal approach regulations for humpback whales in Alaska and Hawaii require, with limited exceptions, that you: Not approach within 100 yards of a humpback whale. During this time, males exhibit competitive behavior around females and often strike or surface on top of one another, sometimes causing bloody injuries. In Hawaii and Alaska, it is illegal to approach a humpback whale within 100 yards, by land or sea. Keep your distance. Stay at least 100 yards away. In addition, we have taken steps to reduce threats to the species, such as establishing regulations to: Restrict vessel and aircraft distance from humpbacks to reduce disturbance. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. The Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance, and Status of Humpbacks (SPLASH) Project, conducted from 2004 to 2006, brought together many research programs and researchers from across the world, including NOAA Fisheries, to monitor humpbacks. 2019 Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals, 2018 Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals, 2017 Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals, How are the Whales Responding to Fewer Tourists in the Waters off Juneau, AK: Summer Survey is Underway to Learn More - Post 1, How are the Whales Responding to Fewer Tourists in the Waters off Juneau, AK: Summer Survey is Underway to Learn More - Post 3, How are the Whales Responding to Fewer Tourists in the Waters off Juneau, AK: Summer Survey is Underway to Learn More - Post 2, Economic Analysis of Whale Watching Tourism in Alaska, Biological Opinion Gastineau Channel Historical Society Sentinel Island Moorage Float Juneau, Alaska, Injury Determinations for Humpback Whales and Other Cetaceans Reported to NOAA Response Networks in the Hawaiian Islands During 2018, 2019 West Coast Whale Entanglement Summary and Infographic, Exempted Waters for Maine State Lobster Permits, Passive Acoustics Research Group News & Media, U.S. Whale Entanglement Response Level 1 - Alaska Region First Responder Training, Alaska Marine Mammal Viewing Guidelines and Regulations Booklet, Acoustic Studies Sound Board of Marine Mammals in Alaska, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, Report a Stranded or Injured Marine Animal, catalog individuals and track them over time, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Learn more about our conservation efforts, NOAA Office of Law Enforcement field office, identifying 14 distinct population segments, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Pacific Offshore Cetacean Take Reduction Plan, network of trained entanglement responders, Learn more about the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, technical guidance for assessing the effects of anthropogenic (human-caused) sound on marine mammal hearing, Proposed Rule to Designate Critical Habitat for the Central America, Mexico, and Western North Pacific Distinct Population Segments of Humpback Whales, Announcement of Public Hearings (84 FR 55530, 10/17/2019), Public Comments Extension, Public Hearing Announcement (11/27/2019, 84 FR 65346), Announcement of Public Hearings for the Southern Resident Killer Whale and Humpback Whale Critical Habitat Proposed Rules, Notice of Public Hearings (84 FR 55530, 10/17/2019), Notice of Additional Public Hearing (84 FR 65346, 11/27/2019), Proposed Rule Humpback Critical Habitat (84 FR 54354, 10/9/2019), Proposed Rule to Revise Critical Habitat SRKW (84 FR 49214, 9/19/2019), Critical Habitat for Distinct Population Segments of Humpback Whales, Critical Habitat for the Southern Resident Killer Whale, Public Hearing Presentation: Proposed Humpback Whale Critical Habitat Designati…, Public Hearing Presentation: Proposed Southern Resident Killer Whale Critical H…, Cook Inlet and Kodiak Marine Mammal Disaster Response Guidelines, Notice of Availability (84 FR 24102, 05/24/2019), Final Cook Inlet & Kodiak Marine Mammal Disaster Response Guidelines and Append…, Alaska Humpback Whale Approach Regulations, Technical Amendments and Recodification (81 FR 62018, 09/08/2016), Approach Regulations Final Rule (66 FR 29502, 05/31/2001), Extension of comment period (65 FR 49782, 08/15/2000), Approach Regulations Proposed Rule (65 FR 39336, 06/26/2000), Alaska Marine Mammal Viewing Guidelines and Regulations, Guidance on the Occurrence of Listed Humpback Whales in Alaska, Incidental Take Authorization: Ørsted Wind Power North America, LLC Site Characterization Survey off New York to Massachusetts, Amendment to Biological Opinion (pdf, 19 pages), Incidental Take Authorization: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Marine Geophysical Survey in the Aleutian Islands, Finding of No Significant Impact (pdf, 14 pages), Incidental Take Authorization: Washington Department of Transportation Seattle Multimodal Project, Seattle, Washington (Season 4- 2020), Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan (pdf, 11 pages), Incidental Take Authorization: Equinor Wind, LLC Marine Site Characterization Surveys off of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and, Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance, and Status of Humpbacks (SPLASH) Project, Years of the North Atlantic Humpback Project, autonomous gliders and passive acoustic arrays. Franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei)VU 9. Our Passive Acoustics Research Group frequently makes the news. Throughout its range, the humpback whale has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1970, and as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. I was aboard a 12-foot boat directly over a submerged humpback off the coast of Maui. Today, it is one of only four humpback whale populations still listed by the Endangered Species Act, and is at a high risk of extinction without conservation efforts. Commercial whaling severely reduced humpback whale numbers from historical levels, and the United States listed all humpback whales as endangered in 1970. The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. Photo: NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center/Robert Pitman. Southeast, Critical habitat was proposed for the Mexico, Central America, and Western North Pacific DPSs of humpback whales in October 2019. Humpback whales can become entangled by many different gear types including moorings, traps, pots, or gillnets. Numerous organizations around the country are trained and ready to respond. Their Latin name, Megaptera novaeangliae, means "big wing of New England. Photo: NOAA Fisheries. Look for blows, dorsal fins, tail flukes, etc. Humpback whales feed on krill (small shrimp-like crustaceans) and small fishes by straining huge volumes of ocean water through their baleen plates. The humpback whale takes its common name from the distinctive hump on its back. The Western North Pacific population, which breeds in the areas of Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines, and feeds in the northern Pacific, primarily in the West Bering Sea and off the Russian coast and the Aleutian Islands. In the North Atlantic, two populations of humpback whales feed during spring, summer, and fall throughout a range that extends across the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Maine to Norway. Threatened. During the summer months, humpback whales spend most of their time feeding and building up fat stores (blubber) to sustain them throughout the winter. Entanglement in fishing gear is a leading cause of serious injury and death for many whale species, including humpback whales. The late-19th-century introduction of the explosive harpoon allowed whalers to accelerate their take. The most effective way to reduce collision risk is to give whales a wide berth or avoid whale waters altogether. Males also sing complex songs for hours that can be heard 20 miles away—the low-frequency portions of the song are audible much farther in deep water. 1990. Both Alaska and Hawaii have specific guidance and requirements for minimizing whale watching impacts on humpback whales. When photographed, scientists can catalog individuals and track them over time, a process called photo-identification. Humpback whales live throughout the world's major oceans. Understanding their migration patterns helps managers establish measures to reduce vessel strikes. Humpback whale feeding grounds are generally in cold, productive waters. In compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. We conduct various research activities on the biology, behavior, and ecology of  humpback whales. Collect as much data as possible  from dead whales through our Health and Stranding Program. The major actions recommended in the plan are: Reduce or eliminate injury and mortality caused by fisheries and fishing gear and by vessel collisions. Vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus)CR 2. Responding to dead, injured, or entangled humpback whales. Humpback whales Are humpback whales still endangered, or have their populations recovered enough since whaling ended that they can now be taken off the Endangered Species List? NOAA Fisheries collaborated with state and federal agencies to create a monitoring plan for the nine distinct population segments of humpback whale that have recovered and are no longer protected under the ESA. When the ESA was passed in 1973, the humpback whale was listed as endangered wherever found. By contrast, the smallest known population is one which inhabits the Arabian Sea year-round, and may number as few as 80 individuals. NOAA Fisheries developed a recovery plan in 1991 to identify actions that would advance the recovery of this species and protect its habitats.
2020 humpback whale endangered