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North Atlantic Right Whale Recovery Plan Northeast U.S. Implementation Team

This multi-disciplinary team was established to advise NOAA Fisheries on issues related to the status and conservation of right whales in the Northeast U.S. (Maine to Virginia).

Whale tail and NEIT logo, graphic of whale breaching Image collected under MMPA research permit #775-1875. Photo credit: NOAA/NEFSC/Eric Matzen

What is the Northeast Implementation Team?

The Endangered Species Act aims to protect, conserve, and recovery endangered and threatened species. The  ESA authorizes NOAA Fisheries to appoint recovery teams to assist with the development and implementation of recovery plans. The NEIT is a recovery team appointed to assist with the implementation of the North Atlantic right whale recovery plan.  

Recovery is the process of restoring listed species and their ecosystems to the point where they no longer require Endangered Species Act protections. A primary role for NOAA Fisheries in recovering endangered and threatened species is to set goals for each species’ recovery comeback through the development of recovery plans. 

Terms of Reference

A Terms of Reference describes the Team operating rules and has been agreed to by all Team members. The NEIT Terms of Reference document serves as an agreement between each member of the Team and NOAA Fisheries.

What does the NEIT do?

  • Coordinate and effect recovery plan implementation in Northeast U.S. while making efficient use of available resources via recommendations to NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office
  • Involve stakeholders in implementation of the recovery plan
  • Promote creative solutions
  • Monitor effectiveness of recovery plan implementation and adapt plan implementation accordingly
  • Identify and prioritize information needs that can be best addressed through enhanced partnerships

NEIT Members 

  1. Dr. Mark Baumgartner, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  2. Joel T. Bell, U.S. Navy
  3. Dr. Danielle Cholewiak, NOAA Fisheries, Northeast Fisheries Science Center
  4. Dr. Cindy P. Driscoll, Veterinarian
  5. Robert Glenn, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
  6. Dr. Roxanne Gillett, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  7. William McLellan, University of North Carolina-Wilmington
  8. Katie S. Moore, U.S. Coast Guard
  9. Meghan Rickard, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  10. Erin Summers, Maine Department of Marine Resources
  11. Dr. Desray Reeb, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  12. Dr. David Wiley, National Ocean Service, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
  13. Élise Lacaille, Transport Canada
  14. Cori Rose, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

Team Meetings

February 12-14, 2024
Meeting Summary (PDF, 12 pages)  

July 25-27, 2023
Boston, MA
Meeting Summary (PDF, 12 pages)

December 14-16, 2022
Meeting Summary (PDF, 12 pages)

July 26-28, 2022
Meeting Summary (PDF, 10 pages)

July 7, 13, and 15, 2021
Meeting Summary (PDF, 12 pages)

November 18-19, 2020
Meeting Summary (PDF, 7 pages)

June 24-26, 2020
Meeting Summary (PDF, 10 pages)

October 29-30, 2019
Baltimore, MD
Joint Teams Meeting Summary (PDF, 12 pages)

October 28, 2019
Baltimore, MD
Meeting Summary (PDF, 8 pages)

March 27-28, 2019
Boston, MA
Meeting Summary  (PDF, 22 pages)

October 30, 2018
Boston, MA
Meeting Summary  (PDF, 13 pages)

For more information on the team or team meetings contact Diane Borggaard, Greater Atlantic Region Right Whale Recovery Coordinator. Submit comments or information to the NEIT at nmfs.gar.neit@noaa.gov.

Does the NEIT address entanglement issues?

Right whale entanglements in fishing gear are addressed by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team process. However, the NEIT may help support the Take Reduction process, if needed, to help implement recovery goals.

What is the Southeast Implementation Team (SEIT)?

The SEIT is the southeast counterpart to the NEIT, working on recovery issues from North Carolina through Florida.

What is the Right Whale U.S. Implementation Team ?

The NEIT and SEIT combine to form a U.S. Implementation Team to coordinate on coastwide issues. Both teams work independently on regional issues, but can coordinate on issues to address coast wide specific issues. This coordination can also include through the use of subgroups such as the Population Evaluation Tool Subgroup and others as needed.

Population Evaluation Tool Subgroup

The objective of the subgroup will be to develop a population viability analysis or other assessment tool that will allow the agency to characterize the North Atlantic right whale extinction risk, taking into account current and future threats, and will allow inquiry into how much improvement to present-day mortality and reproduction schedules is needed to improve population trajectories. This analysis would be useful to help identify benchmarks based on population status which would inform management as well as any gaps in research.  

The Population Evaluation Tool Subgroup developed a North Atlantic Right Whale Population Viability Analysis which was made available in October 2023.

Population Evaluation Tool Subgroup Members 
  1. Dr. Richard Pace, NOAA Fisheries, Northeast Fisheries Science Center
  2. Dr. Michael Runge, U.S. Geological Survey
  3. Dr. Lance Garrison, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center
  4. Dr. Jeffrey Hostetler, U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Amy Knowlton, New England Aquarium
  6. Dr. Veronique Lesage, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  7. Dr. Daniel Linden, NOAA Fisheries, Northeast Fisheries Science Center
  8. Dr. Rob Williams, ORCA



Recovery Plan for North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)

The ultimate goal of this recovery plan is to promote the recovery of North Atlantic right whales to a level sufficient to warrant their removal…

Recovery of Endangered and Threatened Species

Learn how NOAA Fisheries works with partners to protect and recover endangered and threatened marine species.

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