Environmental Assessment of the Effects of Permit Issuance for Research and Recovery Activities on Steller Sea Lions
NOAA Fisheries proposes to issue permits and permit amendments for scientific research on Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in the wild.
The permits would allow for takes of threatened and endangered Steller sea lions for scientific research purposes. The need for the research is related to monitoring the population status and better understanding the cause(s) of the population decline in order to develop conservation and protective measures to ensure Steller sea lion recovery. The objective of the proposed research is to collect information on life history, foraging behavior, habitat use, physiology, population status and trends, survival and reproductive rates, and condition of Steller sea lions in the North Pacific.
Because some of the proposed research may result in adverse effects on threatened and endangered Steller sea lions, NOAA Fisheries determined that further environmental review was warranted to determine whether significant impacts could result from the issuance of the proposed permits. Therefore, this document evaluates the relevant effects of a variety of scientific research activities on Steller sea lions under several alternative permitting options.