Critical Habitat for North Pacific Right Whales
We, NMFS, announce a 12- month determination on a petition to revise the critical habitat designation for the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on our review of the best available information on North Pacific right whale habitat use, we intend to revise the critical habitat. This finding describes how we intend to proceed, particularly regarding analysis and review of the relevant data and information that have become available since North Pacific right whale critical habitat was designated in 2008.
In April 2008, we issued a final rule designating approximately 95,325 square kilometers (36,800 square miles) of critical habitat for North Pacific right whales in the Gulf of Alaska and the Southeast Bering Sea (73 FR 19000, April 8, 2008). On March 10, 2022, NMFS received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and Save the North Pacific Right Whale requesting revision to the critical habitat designation for the North Pacific right whale.