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<br />CITY OF SEWARD, ALASKA <br />RESOLUTION 2000-134 <br /> <br />Whereas, in spite of the fact that the best available science is not inclusive, an injunction on <br />fishing in critical habitat under the ESA and the National Environmental Policy Act is in effect; and <br /> <br />Whereas, Federal District Court Judge ZiIley has determined that the National Marine <br />Fisheries Service has failed to properly explain the impacts of fishing on stellar sea lions in critical <br />habitat, including a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the cumulative impacts of all fishing on <br />the sea lions. Judge Zilley's ruling was procedural in nature. He did not render an opinion on <br />whether the National Marine Fisheries Service regulations in place were sufficient to prevent adverse <br />impacts on stellar sea lions. The procedural failure to properly evaluate the best available science has <br />led to an injunction on fishing in critical habitat under the ESA and the National Environmental Policy <br />Act; and <br /> <br />Whereas, the National Marine Fisheries Service will not be able to establish quotas for next <br />year's pollock, cod, and flatfish fisheries unless or until it publishes another biological opinion which <br />is acceptable to Judge ZiIley. Fisheries Service officials believe that this evaluation could take as long <br />as six months to do properly. The failure to prepare an acceptable biological and environmental <br />evaluation may lead to fisheries closures for trawl and fixed gear fisheries. The Judge's ruling about <br />cumulative impacts also has ramifications for the State-managed salmon and herring fisheries; and <br /> <br />Whereas, Senator Ted Stevens has proposed legislation to provide the National Marine <br />Fisheries Service until July 15,2001 to prepare another biological opinion and draft a supplemental <br />environmental impact statement. Senator Stevens' amendment will lift the current Federal injunction <br />and allow the fisheries to resume in a timely fashion. Pollock fishing would continue to be regulated <br />in accordance with the Federal regulations established by the National Marine Fisheries Service in <br />July, 2000. These regulations were designed to minimize the impact of pollock fishing on the sea lion <br />populations. <br /> <br />NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY <br />OF SEWARD, ALASKA, that: <br /> <br />Section 1. The President ofthe United States, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Congress <br />of the United States agree to the legislation being proposed by Senator Stevens to provide the <br />National Marine Fisheries Service with additional time to prepare a thorough and comprehensive <br />biological opinion and supplemental environmental impact statement. <br /> <br />Section 2. The National Marine Fisheries Service dedicate a significant portion of the $24 <br />million to be appropriated in Fiscal Year 2001 to: (1) a scientific investigation of pollock fishing <br />activity inside the sea lion haulout areas to determine if it is in fact contributing to nutritional stress; <br />and (2) scientific investigations into alternative theories, including the impact of climate change on <br />the carrying capacity of the stellar sea lion populations. <br />