NMFS Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule to Designate Critical Habitat for Three Distinct Population Segments of Humpback Whales
On October 9, 2019 the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule to designate critical habitat for three distinct population segments of humpback whales including the Western North Pacific, Central America, and Mexico segments. The proposed rule would designate specific marine areas off the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska as critical habitat for the species. If these areas are designated, certain industry activities would be required to go through additional Federal agency review under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act to ensure that they are not likely to jeopardize the species’ continued existence. Members of the public that wish to request a public hearing on the proposal must do so in writing to the agency by November 25, 2019. Written comments on the proposed rule are due by December 9, 2019.