Thursday Hearing Will Examine Multiple Threats to Gravely Endangered Northern Atlantic Right Whales as Trump Admin Mulls New Seismic Permits

Washington, D.C. – The Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a March 7 hearing titled Examining the Threats to the North Atlantic Right Whale. Witnesses at the hearing will speak to the risks facing the fewer than 420 remaining North Atlantic right whales, including vessel collisions, entanglement in fishing gear, and disruptive seismic testing along the Atlantic seaboard, where the Trump administration is currently considering approval of new exploration permits.

Recent studies have found reason for great concern, including the likelihood that seismic testing destroys animals called zooplankton that lie at the base of the oceanic food chain. The Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act require extensive analysis of potential impacts before federal agencies permit such damaging activity. The hearing will examine the quality of the analysis done so far and assess whether whales need additional protections.

The full witness list is available below. As with all hearings, the event is open to media and the public.

When: Thursday, March 7, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time

Where: Longworth 1324

Administration Witness

Mr. Chris Oliver

Assistant Administrator

NOAA Fisheries

Majority Witnesses

Dr. Scott Kraus

Vice President and Senior Science Advisor

Chief Scientist, Marine Mammal Conservation

Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium

Dr. Chris Clark

Senior Scientist, Research Professor

Cornell University

Minority Witness

Dr. H. Sterling Burnett

Senior Fellow and Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News

The Heartland Institute

Press Contact

Adam Sarvana

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile