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Document Type

Symposium Article

Abstract

At the beginning of the Symposium sessions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Boston College Law School, Dr. Michael Moore provided a narrative and photographic introduction to current threats to whale survival, with particular reference to North Atlantic waters off the eastern coast of the United States and the most endangered whale species, the North Atlantic right whale, Eubalaena glacialis. The conditions experienced by North Atlantic right whales reflect conditions faced by all the great whales of the North Atlantic. Given the 1935 absolute moratorium on hunting right whales in any waters, there are three major areas of current concern for whale conservation and survival noted in Dr. Moore’s presentation and addressed in legal terms by subsequent contributors to the Symposium: (1) entanglement in commercial fishing gear; (2) vessel strikes; and (3) ambient and episodic marine noise. Each of these is generated by human activities on the oceans.

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