Moulton seeking money for right whale research

CHERYL SENTER/AP file photo/Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., successfully amended the House of Representatives' funding bill to include an additional $1.5 million for cooperative research of right whales by federal fishery regulators, commercial fishermen and conservation groups. 

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is trying to secure additional funding for North Atlantic right whale research through an amendment to the federal government funding bill for fiscal year 2020.

Moulton, D-Salem, successfully amended the House of Representatives' funding bill to include an additional $1.5 million for cooperative research by federal fishery regulators, commercial fishermen and conservation groups.

The amended funding bill now contains $2.5 million for right whale research.

To secure the funding however, the amended legislation first must first pass the House next week and survive negotiations between the House and the Senate on a final spending bill. Ultimately, it would have to have to be signed by President Donald J. Trump.

Moulton, a Democratic presidential candidate, said the fight to save the remaining North Atlantic right whales — whose population now is estimated at 411 — "is also a fight to protect thousands of jobs in commercial fishing and tourism in Massachusetts."

The congressman from Massachusetts's Sixth District, which includes Cape Ann, also is the co-sponsor of legislation that would provide $5 million annually in government grants to fund research and right whale restoration efforts by states, non-profits, fishing stakeholders and the marine shipping industry.

This spring, that bill was passed by the House Committee on Natural Resources. It has not been voted on by the full House.

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT.