Recommended Decision On Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Subsistence Harvest
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National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Regional Office

Beluga Whales - Administrative Hearing

Recommended Decision On Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Subsistence Harvest

A public hearing before Administrative Law Judge Parlen McKenna commenced on December 5, 2000, at the Federal Building, Anchorage, Alaska, and was completed on December 8. Judge McKenna heard testimony about the beluga carrying capacity, abundance and recovery; Native concerns about the right to hunt and methodology of Beluga harvesting and traditional use of the whale; agency concerns about allocating the harvestable whales among Native hunter groups and environmental concerns in Cook Inlet. Parties participating in the hearing were Debra and Joel Blatchford, the Center for Marine Conservation/Trustees for Alaska, the Marine Mammal Commission, Alaska Oil and Gas Association, the Cook Inlet Treaty Tribes, the Village of Tyonek and the NMFS.

Judge McKenna issued a recommended decision on March 29, 2002. His recommended decision considers the evidence presented in testimonial form at the hearing, stipulations entered-into by all or some of the parties, written evidence submitted by the parties and the DEIS and comments submitted by the public.

NMFS published a notice of the Judge's decision in the Federal Register on May 2002. NMFS then published a Final Environmental Impact Statement in July 2003, and final regulations as well as a final Subsistence Harvest Management Plan in April 2004.

There was an Administrative Hearing on August 2, 2004, in Anchorage, Alaska, which lead to the long term harvest mangement plan.

Hearing Documents

Public Comments

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