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NOAA proposes taking humpback whales off endangered species list


Carli Byrer / For Petersburg Pilot

A humpback breaching in Frederick Sound last summer.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has proposed removing the majority of humpback whale populations from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing.

The announcement came Monday when NOAA officials stated protection and restoration efforts over the past 40 years have led to an increase in numbers and growth rates for the mammals in many areas. The animal was first listed as endangered in 1970.

"I'm extremely excited about it," said Fred Sharpe, a scientist for the Alaska Whale Foundation who's done research in Frederick Sound, where humpbacks are often viewed by local...

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