NOAA Proposes Critical Habitat Designation for the Rice’s Whale
On July 24, 2023, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register designating critical habitat for the Rice’s Whale.
NMFS would designate designating waters from the 100-meter isobath to the 400-meter isobath in the Gulf of Mexico as critical habitat for the whale.
NMFS prepared an initial regulatory flexibility analysis as part of their draft economic analysis determining that the critical habitat designation would result in “negligible impacts” to small businesses.
NMFS will be holding public hearings on August 24 and 30, 2023. Comments on the proposed rule are due September 22, 2023.