[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[April 23, 1998]
[Pages 606-607]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Protecting the Northern Right Whale
April 23, 1998

    Today I instructed the United States representatives to the 
International Maritime Organization to seek strong measures to protect 
the northern right whale, one of the world's most endangered marine 
    Like many other species of whale, the northern right whale was once 
hunted nearly to extinction. The 300 or so that survive spend much of 
the year in waters off of Cape Cod and off the Georgia and Florida 
coasts. Biologists believe the greatest human threat they face today is 
collisions with large ships. We must address this threat so these 
magnificent creatures can flourish once again.
    Under our proposal, which the IMO will address when it meets in 
July, commercial ships entering the whales' calving and feeding grounds 
will be required to report by radio to the U.S.

[[Page 607]]

Coast Guard, which will relay back the latest information on the whales' 
locations and advice on avoiding collisions. We believe this reporting 
system is essential if we are to ensure the survival of these majestic