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Humpback whales: Hawaii fishermen ask for removal from endangered list


Hawaiian fishermen are petitioning the US federal government to have the humpback whale removed from the endangered species list. The whales, they claim, have rebounded since conservation efforts began in the 1940s.


Cameron Spencer

Hawaiian fisherman are calling on the US federal government to remove humpback whales from the endangered species list.

The Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance for Conservation and Tradition says that the whale's population has rebounded with conservation efforts since the 1940s.

They were designated as endangered in 1970.

The group is petitioning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to recognize North Pacific whales as a subgroup of humpback.

They then want that subgroup removed from the endangered species list. The move would not affect the endangered status of other humpback whales.

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North Pacific whales account for about a third of humpbacks in the world.

There are about 20,000 of the species left in the oceans, a jump from about 1400 in the 1960s.

The Associated Press reported that the fishermen say the Endangered Species Act is being used as a way to manage the oceans.

They also insist that there is constant additions to the list but not enough subtractions.

"You cannot add species after species after species without evaluating whether there are species that should come off," said Philip Fernandez, the coalition's president, to the Associated Press.