This, from a CNN article, makes me desperately sad:
- "[Right] whales are among the most endangered species on the planet, with only about 300 of them still alive. But a measure aimed at protecting them is snarled and stalled in bureaucracy."
- "That measure is a proposal from U.S. government scientists to require commercial ships to slow to 10 knots inside a 30-mile "bubble" near ports where and when these whales are migrating."
- "Right now, experts say, commercial ships kill about two North Atlantic right whales every year. 'We think that more animals are being killed than are being born, and there are a couple of main sources of human-caused mortality that we are trying to reduce,' said Jim Lecky, director of the Office of Protected Resources at the National Marine Fisheries Service. 'Collisions with ships are the number one cause of mortality, and entanglement in fishing gear is the number two cause,' Lecky said.
- "Many in the shipping industry oppose the speed limit, saying it would be too costly. A federal study concluded that slowing the ships near the whales will cost shipping companies about $112 million, or less than 1 percent of the $340 billion East Coast shipping industry income."
- "Rep. Henry Waxman said the long, drawn-out process within the office and Vice President Dick Cheney's office is demoralizing career government scientists... Waxman said the Bush administration thinks the 'science shouldn't bind them. They're going to do what industry wants.'"
- "CNN made several requests to speak with officials at the Office of Management and Budget about the delay in action on the proposed rule. The agency's Jane Lee issued this statement: 'We cannot comment at this time on an ongoing rulemaking process... ' Members of Cheney's office said they do not comment on internal deliberations.
Photo shows a U.S. Coast Guard ship assisting in a 2005 attempt to disentangle a right whale from fishing gear.
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