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Soundings Archive

NMFS Announces ESA Listing Actions for Seals
On December 13, 2011, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice announcing a 6-month extension of the deadline for a final determination regarding NMFS's December 10, 2010, proposed rule listing two distinct population segments of the bearded seal as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. NMFS' notice says the Service is taking this action "because there is substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the proposed listing rule." NMFS' notice says it will use the additional 6 months "to solicit additional data, evaluate and assess special independent peer review of those aspects of the status review report over which there is substantial disagreement, and better inform our final determination on the proposed listing rule." NMFS' Federal Register notice is available online at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-13/pdf/2011-31967.pdf.

In the same Federal Register, NMFS published notice announcing a 6-month extension of the deadline for a final determination regarding NMFS' December 10, 2010, proposed rule to list four subspecies of the ringed seal as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Similar to its bearded seal notice, NMFS explained this extension as necessary "because there is substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the proposed listing rule." NMFS' Federal Register notice is available online at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-13/pdf/2011-31969.pdf.

In the same Federal Register, NMFS published notice announcing NMFS's initiation of an Endangered Species Act status review for the ribbon seal. The purpose of the status review is to determine whether the ribbon seal should be listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA. NMFS requests scientific and commercial information regarding this species. This information must be received by NMFS on or before February 13, 2012. NMFS' Federal Register notice is available online at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-13/pdf/2011-31959.pdf.

 
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