NMFS Publishes 2017 Bowhead Whale Quota

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published NMFS’ aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that NMFS has assigned to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, and the limitations on the use of the quota deriving from regulations of the International Whaling Commission. For 2017, the quota is 75 bowhead whales struck. This quota and other applicable limitations govern the harvest of bowhead whales by members of the AEWC.

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NMFS Seeks comments on Petition to Establish Southern Resident Killer Whales Protection Zone in San Juan Islands

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a petition for rulemaking to establish a whale protection zone in the San Juan Islands, Washington, to support recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales. NMFS requests comments on the petition and will consider all comments and available information when determining whether to accept the petition and proceed with the suggested rulemaking. The closing date for comments on the petition is April 13, 2017. Click here for more details.

FWS Publishes Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the availability of FWS’ Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan. The polar bear is listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and is also considered ‘‘depleted’’ under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Polar Bear Plan identifies objective, measurable ESA recovery criteria, site-specific recovery actions, as well as time and cost estimates. It also serves as an MMPA conservation plan. Click here for more information about this Polar Bear Plan.

NMFS’ Recovery Plan for Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has announced the adoption and availability of an Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for the Cook Inlet beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) distinct population segment (DPS) found in Cook Inlet, AK. The Recovery Plan is available on the NMFS Alaska Region website here.