Greetings from the Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission!

NMFS Proposes Protection Measures for Steller Sea Lions in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Island Groundfish Fisheries

Other Important Happenings

 

Greetings from the Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission
Greeting from the Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission and welcome to our second electronic newsletter! We hope that your spring and entry into the 2014 summer has been fruitful and filled with joy.

We will be mailing out our 2014-2015 18-month "A Way of Life" calendar within the next month, keep an eye on your mailboxes! If you are not sure you are on our mailing list, please contact us to be added!

We are always interested in hearing from you - if you ever have any questions about marine mammals or upcoming issues in your area we would like to hear from you.

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NMFS Proposes Protection Measures for Steller Sea Lions in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries
On June 30, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service published a proposed rule to implement new protection measures for Steller sea lions in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries. The Proposed Rule can be downloaded from NMFS Website pertaining to their actions relating to the groundfish fisheries: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/sslpm/ You may also download a copy of the Proposed Rule from our website here.

There is a 45-day comment period on the Proposed Rule. Comments may be submitted through August 15, 2014 electronically using the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov using FDMS Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2012-0013. You may also submit comments in writing to:

 

Glenn Merril, Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries
NMFS Alaska Region
Attn: Ellen Sebastian
PO Box 21668
Juneau, Alaska 99802-1668

The intent of the actions outlined in the Proposed Rule is to ensure that the groundfisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area do not jeopardize the continued existence of the endangered Steller sea lion, nor destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. The proposed actions will spread fishing activity over time and space to avoid competition with Steller sea lions

This will affect protection measures developed for Atka mackerel, Pacific cod and pollock primarily in the Aleutian Islands, but also the BSAI. The history leading up to these measures is complex, but different protection measure alternatives were explored in the 2014 Environmental Impact Statement that was published in May 2014. Alternative 5 out in the EIS is the preferred alternative in the EIS, was determined not to cause Jeopardy or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat in the 2014 Biological Opinion and is being proposed here.

These supporting documents can be downloaded from the NMFS Steller sea lion Protection Measures webpage: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/sslpm/

You can also download them using the links below:

 

 

Other Important Happenings

A number of Final Actions and Proposals have come out since our last newsletter. This is not comprehensive but we hope that you find it of interest.

 
  • BIA Proposed Rule to Allow Tribes to Petition the Secretary that Lands can be Taken into Trust in Alaska
    For more information: http://bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc1-026532.pdf
 
  • USFWS & NMFS Jointly Propose Changes to how the ESA is Implemented (Proposed Rules)
    - Revise the definition of "destruction or adverse modification" relating to critical habitat
    - Clarifies the procedures and standards used for designating critical habitat
    - Policy to make it more predictable, transparent and consistent in how exclusions to critical habitat are considered
    The proposed rule and other information can be found: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_ESA/AM.html
    Comment period through October 9, 2014


This is an electronic newsletter from the Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission (TASSC). Our mission is to develop and protect Alaska Natives' rights in Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion customary and traditional uses through co-management, conservation, research and artistic development.

If you do not wish to receive future newsletters by email or wish to change your address, please contact Lianna Jack.

The Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission, PO Box 142, Old Harbor, Alaska 99643
Voice: 907-286-2377 Fax: 888-409-0477 www.seaotter-sealion.org email: tassc@seaotter-sealion.org

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