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Public Now Has 30 More Days to Comment on Proposed Ringed and Bearded Seal Critical Habitat

March 09, 2021

NOAA Fisheries extends public comment period to April 8, 2021

Bearded seal pup. Credit: NOAA Bearded seal pup.

NOAA Fisheries is extending the deadline for members of the public to submit comments on the proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the threatened Beringia distinct population segment of the Pacific bearded seal subspecies under the Endangered Species Act. We have also extended the comment period for the revised proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the threatened Arctic subspecies of ringed seal. The end of the public comment period is extended from March 9, 2021, to April 8, 2021.

Both proposed rules were published in the Federal Register on January 8, 2021.

For each species, the proposed designation comprises an area of marine habitat in the northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. An area north of the Beaufort Sea shelf is proposed for exclusion from the critical habitat designation for Arctic ringed seals at the request of the U.S. Navy based on national security impacts. 

NOAA Fisheries received two requests to extend the comment period. We considered the requests and concluded that we can accommodate a 30-day extension without significantly delaying the completion of the final rules. 

You may submit written comments by either of the following methods:

  • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal:
  • Mail: Address written comments to Jon Kurland, Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Records Office, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

For more information, read the Federal Register publications and supporting documents:


Last updated by on November 04, 2021