As of Friday, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) petitioned a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, regarding bearded seals’ listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The court ruling upheld a 2012 decision from the National Marine Fisheries Service to list the Alaska population of bearded seals as threatened under ESA. ASRC has filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court and is joined by entities like the Northwest Arctic Borough, NANA Regional Corporation, and the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope.
Through a press release Rex A. Rock Senior, ASRC’s president and CEO, says the listing of bearded seals will have detrimental effects on growth and sustainability in the region. Bruce Dale, director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, also weighed in on the Ninth Court’s decision.
Dale said, “If the ESA listing for bearded seals were to stand, it would require us to recover a population that has not yet declined.”
At least six different groups in Alaska, including ASRC, have filed for this writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court in response to bearded seals’ listing under ESA.
The Photo Above: A bearded seal, or ugruk, on the sea ice. Photo Credit: Kawerak Subsistence Program, used with permission.