25
April
2018
|
06:33 PM
America/New_York

For Immediate Release

Defenders of Wildlife Testifies in Support of Protecting Marine Mammals

Defenders of Wildlife Senior Attorney Jane Davenport will testify at a hearing titled “Enhancing the Marine Mammal Protections Act” to be held by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard. The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) is our nation’s premiere law protecting whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, polar bears, walruses, and other marine mammals in U.S. waters.

Statement from Defenders of Wildlife Senior Attorney Jane Davenport:

“Americans love marine mammals and want to safeguard them. For 45 years, this robust and flexible law has played a central role in protecting and recovering some of our beloved and iconic marine mammal species. The MMPA is a bedrock conservation law, and we should reinforce, not undermine, its strength.”

Background:

  • Threats to marine mammals are mounting as the Trump administration seeks to expand offshore drilling in Arctic and Atlantic waters.
  • Meanwhile, the House Natural Resources Committee has marked up and approved H.R. 3133, the Streamlining Environmental Approvals (SEA) Act, a bill that would undermine protections for marine mammals and weaken the legal standards for obtaining incidental harassment authorization permits. The House could vote on this destructive bill soon.
  • One of our most endangered marine mammals, the North Atlantic right whale, has suffered catastrophic losses over the past year from entanglement in fishing lines and vessel strikes. No new North Atlantic right whales were born in the 2017-18 calving season, and scientists warn the species could become functionally extinct within several decades.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.