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

The SEIT was established to assist with issues related to the status and conservation of right whales in the North Atlantic.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) authorizes NOAA Fisheries to appoint recovery teams to assist with the development and implementation of recovery plans. The North Atlantic Right Whale Recovery Plan Southeast U.S. Implementation Team (SEIT) was established to assist NOAA Fisheries SERO on issues related to the status and conservation of right whales. The objectives of the SEIT are:

  1. Coordinate and effect recovery plan implementation in Southeast U.S. while making efficient use of available resources via recommendations to NOAA Fisheries Service SERO.
  2. Involve stakeholders in implementation of the recovery plan.
  3. Promote creative solutions.
  4. Monitor effectiveness of recovery plan implementation and adapt accordingly.
  5. Identify and prioritize information needs that can be best addressed through enhanced partnerships.

Issues related to right whale interactions with commercial fisheries are addressed under the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team process. However, on occasion, the SEIT may address or implement fisheries-related recovery tasks that have a high priority in the Southeast U.S.

North Atlantic right whale Southeast implementation team logo

Terms of Reference

A Terms of Reference describes the team operating rules and has been agreed to by all Team members.  This document serves as an agreement between each member of the Team and NOAA Fisheries.  The Terms of Reference does the following (not an inclusive list):

  • Clarifies the purposes of the Team
  • Details the responsibilities of NOAA Fisheries with respect to the Team
  • Details the roles of Team members, the Team Leader, and the Team Liaison
  • Describes Team operating rules
  • Etc.


The SEIT represents a multi-disciplinary team in support of North Atlantic right whale recovery plan implementation in the Southeast U.S.. Stakeholder group representatives possess many specific criteria (see p. 10 of Terms of Reference).

  1. W. Brock Durig, U.S. Navy
  2. Dr. Lance Garrison, NOAA Fisheries Southeast Fisheries Science Center
  3. Clay George, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  4. Capt. Mike Getchell, Jacksonville Marine Transportation Exchange
  5. Capt. W. Hardee Kavanaugh Jr., St. Johns Bar Pilot Association & Fernandina Pilot
  6. Amy Knowlton, New England Aquarium
  7. William McLellan, University of North Carolina Wilmington
  8. Katie Moore, U.S. Coast Guard
  9. Becky Shortland, NOAA Ocean Service Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary
  10. Leslie Ward, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
  11. Tom Wright, Savannah Maritime Association
  12. Sharon Young, Humane Society of the United States

SEIT Meeting Key Outcomes

May 2023 (PDF, 9 pages)

May 2018 (PDF, 11 pages)

November 2017 (PDF, 8 pages)

April 2017 (PDF, 10 pages)

October 2016 (PDF, 3 pages)

May 2016 (PDF, 10 pages) 

October 2015 (PDF, 6 pages)

October 2014 (PDF, 6 pages)

May 2014 (PDF, 13 pages)


For meeting notes prior to 2014, please contact: Kara.Shervanick@noaa.gov 



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…

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on September 13, 2023