Friday, June 21, 2024

Endangered Rice’s Whale Could Get New Habitat Designation


The US National Marine Fisheries Service is proposing to designate a certain area in the Gulf of Mexico as a “critical habitat” for the endangered Rice’s whale.

Specifically, NMFS wants to designate “waters from the 100 meter (m) isobath to the 400 m isobath in the Gulf of Mexico (GOMx), pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA),” according to a government notice, which adds:

“We have considered economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed designation. We are not excluding any particular area from the critical habitat designation. We seek comments on all aspects of the proposed critical habitat designation and will consider information received before issuing a final designation.”

NMFS will hold virtual public hearings will be held on August 24th, 2023, and August 30th, 2023, according to the notice. Any requests for additional public hearings have to be made in writing by September 7th, 2023.

Public written comments are due by September 22nd, 2023.

Check out the full notice here.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.