Don’t Let Whales Go Extinct for Human Delicacies

Target: Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council

Goal: Prioritize protecting the critically extinct north American right whales over the certification of new lobster fisheries.

North American right whales are on the brink of extinction–and the looming certification of a lobster fishery in the Gulf of Maine poses yet another threat to the survival of this incredible species. Currently, a mere 350 North American right whales exist in the wild today, leaving the population with little chance for future recovery. And, in spite of all this, federal organizations and agencies are choosing to ignore the needs of this critically endangered species in favor of commercial fishing operations.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)–an organization which sets standards for sustainable fishing–wants to re-certify this fishery as sustainable, despite the temporary suspension of its certification in 2020 due to violations to the Endangered Species Act. Lobster fisheries, such as this, pose a deadly entanglement risk for the already rapidly declining North American right whale. If the Gulf of Maine lobster fishery is certified as sustainable, it will further threaten these and other species that become helpless bycatch in commercial nets, pushing them further and further towards extinction. We must act to protect whales before it is too late.

Sign this petition to demand the lobster fishery not be certified. Tell the MSC to stop prioritizing corporate greed over the protection of one of our nation’s most emblematic species.


Dear Chief Executive Howes,

There are currently only 350 North American right whales in the wild today. And, yet, your Council wants to certify a lobster fisher in the Gulf of Maine that would further endanger these–and other–species. The lobster fishery already had its license suspended back in 2020 for violating the Endangered Species Act. The expansive netting and other gear used for catching lobsters is indiscriminate, and a further threat to these already dwindling populations of whales.

We are asking you, Mr. Howes, not to certify this lobster fishery as sustainable. Sustainable operations should not kill critically endangered whales as bycatch.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Georgia Wildlife Resources Division

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