OMB Reviewing NOAA’s Critical Habitat Designation for the Hawaiian Insular False Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment

As of May 23, 2018, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget is reviewing these not-yet published final rules pursuant to OMB’s authority under Executive Order 12866.

Click here for OMB’s review website.

 

 

International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA) Conference (April 8–12, 2019, Greece)

The International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas is a group of international experts dedicated to the protection of marine mammals and their habitats.  Conferences are held every other year. In 2019, ICMMPA is reaching a key milestone:  its 10th anniversary since its foundation and first conference.  The ICMMPA’s fifth conference will take place for the first time in Europe and specifically in the Mediterranean region. Hosting the ICMMPA5 in Greece will provide a unique opportunity to promote the protection of marine animals at the national, Mediterranean, and European level and advance practical solutions to common problems in marine conservation.

Final Rule To List the Taiwanese Humpback Dolphin as Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act

In response to a petition by Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, and WildEarth Guardians, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a final rule to list the Taiwanese humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensistaiwanensis) as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act NMFS is not designating critical habitat for this subspecies because the geographical areas occupied by these dolphins are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction, and NMFS has not identified any unoccupied areas within U.S. jurisdiction that are currently essential to the conservation of the subspecies. This final rule is effective June 8, 2018.

Click here for more details and relevant links.

“Killer Whale Genetics Raise Inbreeding Questions”

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service recently posted an article expressing concern about the effects of inbreeding on the killer whale population in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. The article reads in part as follows:

“A new genetic analysis of Southern Resident killer whales found that two male whales fathered more than half of the calves born since 1990 that scientists have samples from, a sign of inbreeding in the small killer whale population that frequents Washington’s Salish Sea and Puget Sound.”

Click here to read the rest of this article.