NMFS Set to Expand Aleutian Islands Commercial Fishing Following Steller Sea Lion Impact Statement

By Lauren Rosenthal

The new year will likely bring new fisheries to the western Aleutian Islands, now that the National Marine Fisheries Service has issued its final report on the way commercial fishing affects an endangered population of Steller sea lions.

The agency came out in favor of allowing more fishing in its environmental impact statement, or EIS, on Friday morning…. Continue Reading

NMFS Makes a Dramatic Improvement in its Science Assessment with New Steller Sea Lion Bi-Op

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [News Analysis], April 7, 2014
By John Sackton

The 2014 steller sea lion biological opinion released last week represents a stunning and very welcome turnaround for NOAA…. Continue Reading

North Pacific Council Unhappy with NMFS Latest Steller Sea Lion Impact Statement

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS  [KUCB/Seafood.com], April 10, 2013
By Stephanie Joyce

The National Marine Fisheries Service recently released a court-ordered draft environmental impact statement, intended to be the first step in resolving the decades-long debate over Steller sea lion protection measures in the western Aleutians. Last week, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council reviewed the document, and if their reaction is any indication, it’s not going to be a cure-all…. Continue Reading

Steller Sea Lion Unmanned Aircraft

Watch the new video just released on the project, hosted and produced by AbundantOceans.

Concern about Steller Sea Lions has led to the closure of significant fishing areas off of the coast of Alaska. Scientific uncertainty and a lack of good data are often cited for the closure. The Alaska seafood industry, working with scientists, engineers and marine mammal experts, is pioneering the use of unmanned aircraft to help fill the information gaps. This video summarizes the most recent research trip in March, 2012.

NMFS to Hold Peer Review of Steller Sea Lion Bi-OP, Industry Tests Low Cost Drone Surveys

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS, June 12, 2012
By John Sackton

NMFS has announced an independent peer review panel contracted through the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) to consider the November 2010 biological opinion on the impact of groundfisheries on steller sea lions. The opinion, which was used to justify further closures in the Western Aleutians that impacted the cod fishery and other fisheries, such as Atka mackerel, was widely criticized. Many outside experts felt the conclusions of the Bi-OP were not supported by the data presented…. Continue Reading

NOAA to Remove Eastern Steller Sea Lions from Endangered Species List

Seafood.com News [Associated Press], April 19, 2012

ANCHORAGE, Steller sea lions from Alaska’s Panhandle to California’s Channel Islands have reached recovery targets and should be removed from the endangered species list, according to the federal agency that oversees them…. Continue Reading

NOAA Takes First Step on Steller Sea Lion EIS, as Ordered by Court

Seafood.com News [KUCB], April 18, 2012
By Alexandra Gutierrez

Wednesday the federal government took its first step in preparing an environmental impact statement on commercial fishing restrictions in the western Aleutians.  Members of the public can now offer official comment on how Steller sea lion protection measures have affected them…. Continue Reading

Judge Rules NMFS Has Until 2015 to Revise Steller Sea Lion Closures, Disappointing Industry

Seafood.com News [seafoodnews.com and KUCB]
By Stephanie Joyce

There won’t be an Atka mackerel or Pacific cod fishery in the western Aleutians until at least 2015. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess ruled Monday that the National Marine Fisheries Service would have 23 months to assess the impact of its Steller sea lion protection measures in the region…. Continue Reading

NMFS Asks for 15 Months to Assess Controversial Alaskan Stellar Sea Lion Protection Measures

Seafood.com News [KUCB], February 10, 2012
By Alexandra Gutierrez

The National Marine Fisheries Service is asking for at least 15 months to assess the impact of their Steller sea lion protection measures…. Continue Reading

NMFS Sea Lion Restrictions Still Under Fire from Alaskan Fishermen Despite Court Ruling

Seafood.com News [Cordova Times], February 3, 2012
By Margaret Bauman

A federal judge has ruled that commercial fishing restrictions aimed at protecting endangered Steller sea lions were properly imposed, because the sea lions are not getting enough food…. Continue Reading