Striking the right balance in right whale conservation

Robert S. Schick*, Patrick N. Halpin, Andrew J. Read, Christopher K. Slay, Scott D. Kraus, Bruce R. Mate, Mark F. Baumgartner, Jason J. Roberts, Benjamin D. Best, Caroline P. Good, Scott R. Loarie, James S. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Despite many years of study and protection, the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) remains on the brink of extinction. There is a crucial gap in our understanding of their habitat use in the migratory corridor along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Here, we characterize habitat suitability in migrating right whales in relation to depth, distance to shore, and the recently enacted ship speed regulations near major ports. We find that the range of suitable habitat exceeds previous estimates and that, as compared with the enacted 20 nautical mile buffer, the originally proposed 30 nautical mile buffer would protect more habitat for this critically endangered species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1403
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


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