There is something we can do. Eat Local—Not Lobster.
Entangled right whale. Photo by Nick Hawkins
Entangled right whales often die slow and agonizing deaths. They must drag the heavy gear behind them, as thick rope cuts into their skin, flesh, and bone. It can cause painful infections or prevent them from feeding and breathing properly. Entanglements are about more than just conservation; they are also an animal rights issue. A species that most of us will never see in person can be harder to save, and it’s sometime easy to feel powerless in the face of such tremendous suffering. But there are simple steps we can take, right here in Georgia, to make a difference.
It’s important to recognize that no one wants to catch right whales, and many in the industry are working to find better solutions. And there are promising solutions, like new types of rope, breakaway links, ropeless cages and other innovative technologies that are actively being tested to make it easier for whales to avoid or escape entanglement. But these changes are progressing slowly and federal agencies must act with even greater urgency to protect right whales. Without dramatic changes, the North Atlantic right whale could become functionally extinct within the next two decades.
The unfortunate reality is that until effective changes are made to the lobster and snow crab industries, eating these luxury items contributes to the deaths of North Atlantic right whales. Until better technologies are implemented, we encourage Georgians to vote with their wallets and pocketbooks. That’s why One Hundred Miles and partners Glynn Environmental Coalition, St. Marys EarthKeepers, and The Dolphin Project are proud to launch our new “Eat Local—Not Lobster” campaign to encourage us all to think about the sustainable choices we can make to protect right whales.
By forgoing lobster and snow crab, we’re sending a strong message that developing whale-safe practices are important to us. As consumers, we have the power to push suppliers to source more sustainable practices, driving improvements throughout the industry. And the good news is that there’s no shortage of delicious and sustainable Georgia-grown alternatives to choose from. Choosing wild Georgia shrimp, oysters, and blue crab support our local fishermen and women and give back to our coastal economy. It’s the “right” choice to make!