By Mark Thiessen
Associated Press 

NOAA will study habitat protections for North Pacific right whales

 


The U.S. government on July 11 agreed to a request from environmental groups to study increasing critical habitat designations in Alaska waters for North Pacific right whales, one of the rarest whale species in the world.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries estimates there are about 30 of the whales left after centuries of hunting, ship strikes and fishing gear entanglements have devastated the species.

The agency in 2008 designated about 1,175 square miles in the Gulf of Alaska and approximately 35,460 square miles in the southeast Bering Sea as critical habitat f...



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