Entire southeast Alaska herring population under review
April 15, 2008
"It's true that the herring population has declined in Lynn Canal when compared with the 1970s," said Doug Mecum, acting administrator for the Alaska region of NOAA's Fisheries Service. "However, the herring in Lynn Canal are not separate from other herring in southeast Alaska. We need to look at the entire southeast Alaska herring population."
Mecum explained that biologists have already started a status review of the entire southeast Alaska herring population from Cape Fairweather and Icy Cape in the north, southward to Dixon Entrance, and westward to the open waters of the Gulf of Alaska.
On April 2, 2007, NOAA's Fisheries Service received a petition from the Juneau chapter of the Sierra Club to list the Lynn Canal stock of Pacific herring, Clupea pallasi, as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. At the time, experts reviewed the petition, the literature cited in the petition, and other literature and information in agency files, and decided that the petitioned action might be warranted.
Since then, NOAA's Fisheries Service convened a biological review team of scientists from NOAA's Alaska and Northwest fisheries science centers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game provided substantial information and advice such as data on the abundance of the herring population and the trends in population. The biological review team completed the status review of Pacific herring in Lynn Canal and found they are not eligible to be listed separately under the Endangered Species Act.
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