The American government has declared the Beluga whales off Alaska’s Cook Inlet an endangered species, despite opposition to this protection by Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, says the Los Angeles Times.   In the past decade the Beluga whale population off Anchorage has been reduced by half, and only stands at 375.   According to the legislation, any plans to build bridges or drill off-shore will have to prove that these will not disturb the whales.

The Northern Right Whale too is to be protected, with new legislation to be introduced in the USA to regulate the speed at which shipping traffic may travel along America’s East Coast between Massachusetts and Florida.  There are only 300 to 400 Northern Right whales left in the world, and the legislation is designed to stop whales from dying from collisions with ships.