Right whale, fisheries, conservation bills on panel agenda

By Garrett Downs | 06/25/2024 06:29 AM EDT

Lawmakers will weigh bipartisan legislation to protect the North Atlantic right whale.

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.).

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) is sponsoring legislation to protect North Atlantic right whales. He also opposes administration initiatives with the same goal. Susan Walsh/AP

A House Natural Resources subcommittee will hold a hearing on four ocean and fisheries bills Thursday, three of which are bipartisan.

The Water, Wildlife and Fisheries Subcommittee will discuss legislation that would require the Commerce Department to create a grant program to “foster enhanced coexistence between ocean users and North Atlantic right whales and other large cetacean species,” according to a summary.

H.R. 8704, from Reps. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) and Mary Peltola (D-Alaska), comes as some lawmakers fight administration rules to protect the right whale. Text has yet to be released.


Carter and Peltola are leading separate legislation, H.R. 4323, that would prohibit a new vessel speed rule. Conservation advocates say the bill is a threat to the endangered whales.