Last week, U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., brought out the “Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (SAVE) Right Whales Act” with the support of U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.
The bill would “invest $5 million annually in grants that states, non-profits, and members of the fishing and marine shipping industries can use to fund research and efforts that restore the North Atlantic right whale population.”
“The North Atlantic right whale is in desperate need of our help,” said Rutherford on Friday. “With their calving grounds right off the First Coast, this legislation seeks to prevent another tragedy of a right whale washing up on our shores. I’m encouraged by the widespread support this bill has received in the past and I’m thankful to Representative Murphy for joining me as we work together to rescue the North Atlantic right whale from extinction.”
“The North Atlantic right whale is critically endangered, with less than 400 left as a result of fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes,” said Murphy. “Floridians pride ourselves on our diverse wildlife and these whales can often be seen off the coast of our state with their young. I’m proud to join Congressman Rutherford in this bipartisan effort to protect these majestic creatures.”
“Fewer than 400 North Atlantic right whales currently exist in the wild, and only 41 calves have been born since 2017. Additionally, there are fewer than 100 breeding females left in the world. Experts unanimously agree the biggest threats to the right whale are ship strikes and fishing gear entanglements,” Rutherford’s office noted.
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Natural Resources and the Budget Committees. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.
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