Environmentalists are pushing for tighter restrictions on oil and gas to protect rare whales in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Two years ago, scientists announced the discovery of a new species in the Gulf of Mexico: Rice’s whale, which they called one of the rarest whales on the planet.

An endangered species – only about 50 species – lives in the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico. Environmental scientists and advocacy groups are now pushing for the federal government to impose tighter restrictions on oil and gas companies operating in the Persian Gulf to prevent whales from becoming extinct.

“It’s not often that we discover new species of whales. And it was exciting to find that, but also a bit bittersweet because they are endangered,” said Christine Carden, senior program scientist at the Center for Ocean Biological Diversity.

Discovered by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the whale can weigh up to 60,000 pounds – about the same as a fire truck – and is part of the baleen family, toothless whales that use hairy strips called baleen to filter food from sea water. . It is the only baleen whale known to live in the bay, and Cardin said its isolation has led to it becoming its own species.

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