Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Management of the Subsistence Harvest of Northern Fur Seals on St. George Island, Alaska
Analysis of a proposed action to implement new regulations for the northern fur seal subsistence harvest on St. George Island, Alaska to allow for a harvest of male northern fur seals to meet the subsistence needs and implement new conservation controls
NOAA Fisheries proposes to improve the management of the subsistence harvest for the Eastern Pacific stock of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). NOAA Fisheries, in conjunction with the Pribilof Island Aleut Community of St. George Island, Traditional Council, is proposing new management measures that (1) provide harvest flexibility, (2) use both Alaska Native and scientific experience to develop best harvest practices, and (3) create firm regulatory measures to conserve the fur seal population and maintain sustainable subsistence harvest on St. George Island consistent with the community's subsistence needs. NOAA Fisheries and the Traditional Council would continue to co-manage the harvest consistent with new regulatory controls to reduce the accidental killing of females, reduce localized harvest pressures, and prohibit harvest at small breeding areas. The new subsistence management regime would maintain the existing range of permissible subsistence harvest, allow a portion of the harvest to be comprised of young of the year male fur seals consistent with traditional practices, reduce impacts to females, reduce harassment to non-target seals, and schedule harvesting to promote scientific coordination and monitoring.