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Northern right whales declared "critically endangered"; some enviros accuse NOAA of timidity

WASHINGTON — When boaters spotted a dead North Atlantic right whale off Elberon, N.J., on June 25, marine biologists quickly established the identity of the hulking gray carcass.

With only about 400 such whales left in the world, every individual is known to researchers and cataloged. This one, the six-month-old calf of whale No. 3560, had been struck several times on the head, suggesting one or possibly two vessel collisions.

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