A Congressional panel is holding a hearing about the threats facing endangered North Atlantic right whales, which number only about 411.
A subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources will hold the hearing on Thursday. The whales have declined in population in recent years due to high mortality and low reproduction.
Natural Resources Committee Democrats say the Water, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee's hearing will allow witnesses to talk about the risks that face the remaining right whales. The Democrats say they want to consider entanglement in fishing gear, vessel strikes and seismic testing as threats that impact the whales' population.
The statement also says the hearing will consider "the quality of the analysis done so far and assess whether whales need additional protections."