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NOAA unveils promotional campaign on right whales

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is turning to local harbormasters and marinas on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod to help educate the recreational boating public about the endangered right whale.

Aluminum signs reading “North Atlantic Right Whales Need Your Help!” will be ready for distribution next week, fishery biologist Christin Khan of NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, told the Cape Cod Times. The goal is to teach boaters more about the rare North Atlantic right whales.

There are about 500 North Atlantic right whales in the world, and they are considered at risk of extinction, according to the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium.

Sixteen of the 2-by-3-foot signs will initially be available, and organizers hope to place the first batch in launching areas around Cape Cod.

Local harbormasters will be asked to participate, Khan said. Signs also will be available to local marinas, although there could be a wait, according to the news report.

The project is a cooperative effort among several right whale conservation groups in the region.

Khan and NOAA officials are hoping the program can be expanded and the signs can eventually be distributed along the entire East Coast.