One of the world’s rarest whales was discovered just under two years ago. In 2021, Rice’s whale was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, with only about 50 believed to exist.
Rice’s whale, part of the baleen whale family, can weigh up to 60,000 pounds. These whales, despite their size, are not immune to the dangers that they face: energy exploration and development, oil spills and chemicals used to disperse oil after a spill.
Turtle Island Restoration Network and other organizations were highlighted in an article in The Texas Tribune, and their efforts to minimize the damage caused by oil and gas companies on local communities and wildlife, including Rice’s whale.
These efforts are crucial to the long-term health of the species. The biological opinion that had been done is a flawed analysis of the risk of massive spills like the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the coalition of groups asked the federal judge to force NOAA Fisheries to write a new report.
Accurately portraying the real dangers the oil and gas industry cause in a new report would show that Rice’s whale and other marine wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico are significantly impacted by the industries. With Rice’s whale being discovered just under two years ago, fast forward to today, and the whale is at danger to extinction.