The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public input on its draft periodic status reviews for Gray and Humpback Whales.

WDFW prepares recovery plans to guide conservation and recovery efforts and periodically reviews the status of protected species in the state.

Recommendations in the reviews include retention of state protected status of “sensitive” for the Gray Whale and “endangered” for the Humpback Whale. These designations would preserve current levels of protection and management to ensure the survival of these whales. 

Gray and Humpback Whales face threats such as entanglement in fishing gear and marine debris, ship strikes, human-generated marine sound, climate change, and small population sizes among regionally migrating groups.

Humpback whale rescued

Draft periodic status reviews for both the Gray Whale and the Humpback Whale are available for review at WDFW’s species status review webpage. The public can provide comments on the drafts through December 21, 2020. 

Written comments on the review and recommendation can be submitted via email to [email protected] or by mail to Taylor Cotten, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43141, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities. The agency works to keep common species common and restore species of greatest conservation need.