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National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Regional Office

Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

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Recovery Plan for Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

Cook Inlet beluga whales Cook Inlet beluga whales.
Photo: Chris Garner, U.S. Army, Ft. Richardson.

In October 2008, NMFS listed the Cook Inlet beluga whales as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Section 4(f) of the ESA requires NMFS to develop and implement a recovery plan for the conservation and survival of the Cook Inlet belugas, unless such a plan will not promote the conservation of the species.

The Recovery Plan must include:

  • a description of site-specific management actions that may be necessary to achieve the planís goal for the conservation and survival of the Cook Inlet belugas
  • objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the Cook Inlet belugas may be removed from the ESA
  • estimates of the time required and the cost to carry out those measures needed to achieve the planís goal and to achieve intermediate steps toward that goal

In 2010, NMFS convened a Recovery Team to aide in the development of a draft Recovery Plan for Cook Inlet beluga whales. The Recovery Team was composed of two voluntary advisory groups: a Science Panel and a Stakeholder Panel. The first meeting of the Recovery Team was in March 2010. In March 2013, the Recovery Team provided NMFS with a first draft of the Recovery Plan, and NMFS disbanded the Recovery Team. Prior to final approval of a Recovery Plan for the Cook Inlet beluga whales, NMFS will publish a draft version for public review and comment. NMFS anticipates the draft Recovery Plan will be available for public review and comment later this year.

Recovery Plan



February 27-28, 2013

Meeting Materials

April 10-13, 2012

January 11-13, 2012

November 7-10, 2011

April 11-14, 2011 - Canceled

January 14, 2011

December 8-10, 2010

September 30, 2010

March 30-April 1, 2010


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