NMFS Seeks Comment on Peer Review of Ringed and Bearded Seal ESA Listing Decisions
Click here to read bearded seal notice.
On April 6, 2012, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice seeking comment on a special independent peer review report of NMFS's December 2010 status review of the ringed seal under the Endangered Species Act.. NMFS's December 2010 action proposed to list the Arctic (Phoca hispida hispida), Baltic (Phoca hispidabotnica), Okhotsk (Phoca hispida ochotensis), and Ladoga (Phoca hispida ladogensis) subspecies of ringed seals as threatened. On December 13, 2011, in consideration of substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the model projections and analysis of future sea ice habitat, in particular snow cover, for Arctic ringed seals, NMFS announced a 6-month extension of the deadline for the final listing determination to June 10, 2012. At that time, NMFS also announced that it was conducting special independent peer review of the sections of the status review report of the ringed seal related to the disagreement, and that the resulting peer review report would be made available for public comment.
Comments and information on the peer review report must be received by NMFS on or before May 7, 2012.
Click here to read ringed seal notice
In the same Federal Register notice, NMFS announced a similar action and comment period for the bearded seal. Comments to NMFS on the bearded seal action are due May 7, 2012.