Three independent reviewers are questioning the science behind a decision to restrict commercial fishing to protect endangered Steller sea lions in Alaska.
The reviewers say a federal biological opinion doesn’t support that restricting fishing in the Aleutian Islands will help sea lion survival.
The western population of Steller sea lions was listed as endangered in 1997. The National Marine Fisheries Service says their numbers fell sharply from 250,000 in the early 1970s and remained at just 49,000 in 2008.
State of Alaska attorneys in an unsuccessful court case argued against fishing restrictions and said the population of western Steller sea lions is growing.
Fisheries Service spokeswoman Julie Speegle says the agency is reviewing the independent report and will determine whether follow-up actions are warranted.
- September 1, 2015- After a class action grievance, a regime change, a year of renovations and buying hundreds of $8,000 workstations, state employees are finally moving into their new offices in Douglas.
- September 1, 2015- "It really helps to have good manners because we are waking people up. The interviewers ask folks very intrusive questions about their income levels, about their history, about demographic factors, health," said Mariya Lovishchuk.
- - Alaska's health commissioner spends her summers working on policy issues by day and fishing for salmon for the winter on nights and weekends with her family who belong to the Yup'ik people.
- September 1, 2015- Aside from a lack of routing measures, the Bering Sea’s nautical charts are outdated, presenting serious safety risks to vessels of all kinds.