Full Committee to Hold Seattle Field Hearing on Steller Sea Lion and Fishery Management Restrictions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, October 17, 2011 the House Natural Resources Committee will hold an Oversight Field Hearing in Seattle, Washington on “NOAA’s Steller Sea Lion Science and Fishery Management Restrictions - Does the Science Support the Decisions?”
In 1990, the Steller sea lion was added to the Endangered Species List and in 1997, the population was reclassified into two Distinct Population Segments – the western population was classified as endangered and eastern population was listed as threatened. Due to concerns that the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands groundfish fishery was jeopardizing Steller sea lion recovery, the fishery has been operating under Endangered Species Act restrictions imposed in 2000. In November 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a new Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries which retained restrictions from the 2000 BiOp and added significant new closures for the Pacific cod fishery and the Atka mackerel fishery in the western Aleutian Islands. This hearing will examine questions regarding the science that justifies NOAA’s BiOp and the economic impacts of the fishery restrictions.
“There are many questions that have yet to be answered on the science behind the fishing restrictions and the validity of the entire Biological Opinion. When the agency’s own science conflicts with their conclusions, it is no wonder the States of Washington and Alaska commissioned an independent scientific review. This hearing is an opportunity to address these concerns, seek answers and explore the job and economic impacts resulting from the Biological Opinion,” said Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).
Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04),
Rep. Don Young (AK-At large),
and other possible Members.
Natural Resources Committee
Oversight Field Hearing on:
“NOAA’s Steller Sea Lion Science and Fishery Management Restrictions - Does the Science Support the Decisions?”
Witnesses to be announced.
Monday, October 17, 2011
9:30 A.M. PT
Ruth Fisher Boardroom
401 South Jackson Street