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North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica)
Federally Endangered

photo of two right whales swimming

The North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) was listed as endangered under the ESA in 1973 where it appeared as the "northern right whale." It was originally listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Conservation Act, the precursor to the ESA, in June 1970. The species is designated as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). In 2006, critical habitat was designated for the northern right whale in the Pacific. Also in 2006, NMFS determined that the northern right whale was actually composed of two different species, the North Pacific right whale and the North Atlantic right whale. In 2008, NMFS listed the endangered northern right whale (Eubalaena spp.) as two separate, endangered species, North Pacific right whale (E. japonica) and North Atlantic right whale (E. glacialis) (73 FR 12024 [PDF]).

Two areas within the Gulf of Alaska and within the Bering Sea are designated as critical habitat for the North Pacific right whale (73 FR 19000 [PDF], April 8, 2008).

For general information on North Pacific Right Whale, see the North Pacific Right Whale species profile page.