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Soundings Archive

NMFS Seeks Information for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Recovery and Conservation Plans
On January 28, 2010, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice that NMFS is required by the Endangered Species Act to develop plans for the conservation and survival of Cook Inlet beluga whale. NMFS' notice requests information from the public on how to develop such plans.

All information must be received by NMFS no later than 5 p.m. Alaska Time on March 29, 2010.

NMFS' notice explains that Cook Inlet belugas are listed as endangered under the ESA. The ESA specifies that recovery plans must include:

    "(1) a description of management actions as may be necessary to achieve the plan's goals for the conservation and survival of the species; (2) objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in the species being removed from the list; and (3) estimates of time and costs required to achieve the plan's goal and the intermediate steps towards that goal. In an effort to expedite the recovery plan process, NMFS will work towards incorporating relevant portions of the final Conservation Plan for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale into the draft Recovery Plan."
To achieve these tasks, NMFS requests the following information from the public:
    "(a) criteria for removing the Cook Inlet beluga whales from the list of threatened and endangered species; (b) factors that are presently limiting, or threaten to limit, the survival of the belugas; (c) actions to address limiting factors and threats; (d) estimates of time and cost to implement recovery actions; and (e) research, monitoring, and evaluation needs."
  • Click here to read NMFS' Federal Register notice about the Beluga Whale Plans

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