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<br />I <br /> <br />I <br /> <br />I <br /> <br />Sponsored by: Janke <br /> <br />CITY OF SEWARD, ALASKA <br />RESOLUTION 2000-134 <br /> <br />A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEWARD, <br />ALASKA, SUPPORTING THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE <br />INVESTIGATION OF THE SEA LION POPULATION DECLINE <br /> <br />Whereas, the Endangered Species Act is the Federal statute designed to prevent the <br />extinction of animal and plant species in the United States. The ESA requires the Federal <br />Government to take action in those situations where human activities may be jeopardizing the <br />continued existence of endangered species. The ESA also requires the Federal Government to make <br />informed, scientifically based decisions about the impact of human activities on an endangered specie; <br />and <br /> <br />Whereas, the best available science supports the decision of the National Marine Fisheries <br />Service to list stellar sea lions as an endangered specie. The cause of such decline in the sea lion <br />population is unknown. Marine biologists have posed a series of alternative theories on the causes <br />in the sea lion decline; and <br /> <br />Whereas, the Marine biologists have posed a series of alternative theories on the causes in <br />the sea lion decline; including predation of juvenile sea lions by orcas, regime shift, environmental <br />contaminants, disease, competition with fishing fleets for food, and the impact of climate change on <br />the ability of the North Pacific ecosystem to support a large population of sea lions; and <br /> <br />Whereas, the theory that fishing for pollock in steller sea lion critical habitat has effectively <br />deprived the sea lion population of a core prey species and has caused nutritional stress on juvenile <br />sea lions has been used as justification for causing the National Marine Fisheries Service to impose <br />comprehensive fishing regulations on the small boat fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska and the trawl <br />fisheries of the Bering Sea. Admittedly, the science on which this decision was made is not <br />conclusive, and the National Marine Fisheries Service is working to produce a new biological opinion; <br />and <br /> <br />Whereas, the fishing regulations have had serious impacts on the ability of fishermen and <br />processing workers to make a living, and have adversely impacted tax revenue and economic activity <br />in the fisher-dependent coastal communities of Alaska; and <br /> <br />Whereas, the impacts of fishing on steller sea lions in critical habitat areas, including a <br />thorough and comprehensive analysis of the cumulative impacts of all fishing on sea lions, has not <br />been determined. The effectiveness of existing fishing regulations on reducing nutritional stress in <br />the steller sea lion population has not been evaluated, nor have the number of other alternative <br />theories for the decline been researched; and <br />