Biological and Conference Opinion on the Issuance of Marine Mammal Protection Act Permit No. 20466 to Alaska Department of Fish and Game for Scientific Research on Ice Seals
This document represents the NOAA Fisheries opinion on the effects of these actions on the bearded seal Beringia DPS, ringed seal Arctic DPS and proposed critical habitat, Steller sea lion and designated critical habitat, seven ESA-listed whale species (bowhead, North Pacific right, fin, humpback Western North Pacific and Mexico DPS, Western North Pacific gray, blue, and sei whales), and North Pacific right whales designated critical habitat.
The ice seal research activities that are the subject of this consultation are part of an on-going research program by ADFG. The ADFG has conducted research and monitoring of ice seals for decades using aerial and vessel surveys, tissue and other biologic sampling, and remote tracking with authorization from NMFS. The purpose of the research is to monitor the status and health of four species of seals: ringed, bearded, spotted, and ribbon seals in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas.