Apr 20, 2015 12:18 PM by Debbie Cobb
HONOLULU (AP) - The federal government is proposing removing most of the world's humpback whale population from the endangered species list.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries wants to reclassify humpbacks into 14 distinct populations, and remove 10 of those from the list.
The federal agency said in a release announcing its proposal that protection and restoration efforts have led to an increase in humpbacks in many areas.
Under the plan, two of the populations would be listed as threatened, in Central America and the Western North Pacific. The agency says these whales at times enter U.S. waters.
The other two populations - in the Arabian Sea and off Cape Verde and northwest Africa - would remain listed as endangered.
The public has 90 days to comment on the proposed changes.