Critical Habitat for North Atlantic Right Whales
We, the NOAA Fisheries, are issuing this final rule to replace the critical habitat for right whales in the North Atlantic with two new areas. The areas being designated as critical habitat contain approximately 29,763 nm2 of marine habitat in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank region (Unit 1) and off the Southeast U.S. coast (Unit 2). We have considered positive and negative economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the critical habitat. We are not excluding any particular area from the final critical habitat.
A Biological Source Document provides the basis for our identification of the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the species that may require special management considerations or protection. A report was also prepared pursuant to section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in support of this rule.