(North Atlantic Right Whale) In the Grip

  • Off the shoreline of the Atlantic northwest the whir of anthropogeny is deafening. The whale songs once echoing o the cliffs at the Bay of Fundy or off the beaches of Cape Cod have diminished, instead replaced by the slow churning of machine. The once plentiful playground of the North Atlantic Right Whale has declined, superseded by the eerie fog of what was. Historically a population reaching into the tens of thousands now has been reduced to an estimated 460 individuals. Recent conservation efforts have brought the species back from the brink of extinction. Within the past fifty years their numbers have doubled with the aid of governmental restrictions on boat speed and whaling. Although these efforts have been monumental, they have not been enough to stop inevitable extinction. Increases in noise pollution and entanglement paired with a recent decrease in birth rate have combined in order to paint a picture of future devastation. The fate of the North Atlantic Right Whale is in the hands of us, the people who have the ability to actively incite change or to not do so.