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NOAA Extends Comment Period on Proposed ESA Listing of Ringed and Bearded Seals


Juneau, AK — Interested members of the public will have an additional 45 days to comment on NOAA Fisheries’ proposal to list four subspecies of ringed seals and two distinct population segments of bearded seals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The proposed listings include four subspecies of ringed seals found in the Arctic Ocean, Bering, Okhotsk, and Baltic seas, and Lake Ladoga (Russia); and two distinct population segments of bearded seals found in the Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian, and Okhotsk seas.

NOAA Fisheries first published the proposed listings in the Federal Register on December 10, 2010, with a 60-day public comment period ending on February 8, 2011.

In response to requests received, NOAA Fisheries has decided to extend the currently open comment period until March 25, 2011. The additional 45 days should allow sufficient time for responders to comment without significantly delaying the rulemaking process.

Comments—which should be identified by "RIN 0648-XZ58" for bearded seals and “RIN 0648-XZ59” for ringed seals—may be sent to Kaja Brix, Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources, Alaska Region, NMFS, ATTN: Ellen Sebastian.

* Electronic submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov.
* Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668
* Fax: 907-586-7557
* Hand-deliver to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK.

More information can be found at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/seals/ice.htm

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at http://www.noaa.gov or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/usnoaagov.

To learn more about NOAA Fisheries in Alaska, visit  alaskafisheries.noaa.gov or www.afsc.noaa.gov.

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