USFWS Releases Stock Assessment Reports for Walrus and Sea Otters
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has prepared draft revised marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs) for the three stocks of northern sea otters and the Pacific walrus in Alaska. Stock assessments use the best available scientific information to describe the geographic range, minimum population estimate, current population trend, annual human-caused mortality and serious injury, and commercial fisheries interactions for each marine mammal stock. These reports are periodically updated to reflect the most current information and the draft reports are available for public review and comment. The public comment period will run for 90 days following the April 18th, 2013 publication in the Federal Register. You may view the draft revised stock assessment reports on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2012-0019. You may also view them in Adobe Acrobat format by navigating to the species information pages at http://alaska.fws.gov/fisheries/mmm/reports.htm.
The Service has new information that demonstrates the Southeast and Southcentral stocks of northern sea otters have increased in population and the Southwest stock of northern sea otter, currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), though not considered recovered, is believed to be stabilized. For the Pacific walrus, the Service determined in 2011 that listing as threatened or endangered under the ESA is warranted but precluded by higher priority actions to amend the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. The Service intends to finalize these SARs to reflect this new information subsequent to review of any comments or additional information that may be provided by the public.
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