Alarmed at the increasing number of Northern right whales being injured or killed by fishing gear, one of New England’s top environmental groups announced plans yesterday to sue the federal government for failing to protect the species. Only some 300 right whales remain, and many of them are in Cape Cod Bay this time of year, where they can become entangled in fishing gear or be hit by ships. The Conservation Law Foundation accuses the National Marine Fisheries Service of dragging its feet in requiring the development of fishing gear that allows whales to escape. The right whale population has been declining since the early 1990s, and some scientists worry they are slowly heading for extinction. Although fishing gear accidents account for only 10 percent of whale deaths, 60 percent of the right whales show signs of fishing gear scars.