SAVE Right Whales act approved by US House committee
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee approved the Scientific Assitance for Very Endangered (SAVE) Right Whales Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, on 1 May.
The bipartisan bill was introduced back in March, and is directed at additional funding – up to up to USD 5 million (EUR 4.47 million) each year for 10 years – to research methods of rebuilding the population of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Some of the grant money would go towards developing new commercial fishing gear, in order to prevent entanglements which have already killed multiple whales.
“We humans have nearly killed every right whale in existence through our direct and indirect actions over the past two centuries.” Moulton said. “Now we have a choice: We can be the generation that brings the right whale back, or the generation that allows their extinction.”
The move to approve by the committee was applauded by the Natural Resource Defense Council, who are in support of the legislation.
“By including this bill in its first markup of the year, the House Natural Resources Committee recognizes the urgency of the right whale extinction crisis and the need for congressional action to effectively address it,” NRDC said in a release. “Now that the bill has passed this key legislative hurdle, we are hopeful that it will soon be taken up on the House floor.”
The bill was introduced by Moulton, and co-sponsored by Reps. John Rutherford, Bill Keating, Jared Huffman, and Bill Posey. Before reaching the floor, the bill also needs to go through hearings by the House Budget Committee.