Too Soon To Remove Humpback Whales From Endangered Species List?

Sep 7, 2016

Credit Richard Fisher / Flickr

Several species of humpback whales have been removed from the endangered species list.

This week, the National Marine Fisheries Service reclassified humpback whale species into 14 different categories.  9 of those were removed from the list or reclassified as threatened and that includes species found in Hawaiian waters.

The agency had previously classified all humpback whales as a single population… saying they were all endangered.

Environmental experts say it shows how powerful and important the endangered species act is… but others feel it’s too early to make such a change.  Center for Biological Species attorney Kristen Monsell says whales still need the protection the act offers from fishing nets and ship strikes. 

An estimated 11,000 humpback whales breed in Hawaiian waters each winter and migrate to Alaska to feed during the summer.