Federal marine mammal authorities have proposed a recovery plan for a rare large whale, the North Pacific right whale.
The National Marine Fisheries Service published the proposal today for the marine mammal that has been listed as endangered since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973.
Right whales were decimated by whalers. Adults reach 45 to 55 feet and whalers found them to be desirable prey because they’re slow and buoyant after they’re killed.
Only about 30 right whales remain in U.S. waters. There are an estimated 900 that swim off Russia, Japan and China.
The Center for Biological Diversity in March gave a 60-day notice that it would sue if a recovery plan was not developed.
The agency in April agreed to prepare the plan.
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