Belugas Belong in the Wild

The NOAA has denied a permit request to import 18 beluga whales from Russia into the Georgia Aquarium.

The NOAA has denied a permit request to import 18 beluga whales from Russia into the Georgia Aquarium.

PawsUpPaws Up!
To the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for denying a U.S. aquarium’s request for a permit to import whales from Russia.

According to a news article, “Federal authorities have denied the Georgia Aquarium a permit to import 18 beluga whales from Russia, citing concerns about the species’ wild population and the way in which these marine mammals were captured.”

Additionally, “Beluga whales are listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are found in the arctic and subarctic waters of Russia, Greenland and North America and they face threats including ship strikes, pollution and habitat destruction, according to NOAA.”

The story stated that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received over 9,000 comments regarding the request for the permit.

Take Action: Write a note of thanks to the administrator of NOAA. Additionally, never visit a sea park that uses sea animals for entertainment purposes.

Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Administrator
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Room 5128
Washington, DC 20230

Marine Mammals Face Grave Danger

morgue_ussmassnavy

USS Massachusetts
The U.S. Navy conducts underwater military training exercises that have been known to harm marine mammals.

The U.S. Navy conducts underwater military training exercises that have been known to harm marine mamals, including whales, seals, and dolphins. The number of such exercises is set to increase to a massive scale along the Hawaiian, California, and Atlantic coasts over the next five years.

By allowing the increase in sonar blasts used during training sessions, marine mammals in these areas will be subjected to incredible pain and suffering. The loud underwater explosions have been known to cause whales to beach themselves. These blasts also have caused bleeding around the animals’ ears and brains.

The National Marine Fisheries Service should protect marine mammals rather than force them to withstand increased numbers of injuries. As long as military training exercises need to take place, they should be conducted in waters where little damage can be done to sea mammals and their habitat.

Send a note to the National Marine Fisheries Service requesting a change in location for these training exercises to protect marine mammals.

Samuel D. Rauch III
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries
National Marine Fisheries Service
NOAA Fisheries Service
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tele. No.: 301-427-8000

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Corals Need Our Help

You can help keep a part of our natural world, Coral Reefs, thriving for future generations.

You can help keep a part of our natural world, Coral Reefs, thriving for future generations.

Sixty-six of the most threatened corals need protection under the Endangered Species Act. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the ability to protect them. Coral reefs are in trouble due to ocean warming, acidification, and pollution.

We must protect endangered and near-endangered species and their habitat; for whenever we save a species from the brink of extinction and preserve enough of the habitat for the species to thrive, we keep a part of our natural world intact for future generations.

For these reasons, it is imperative that NOAA protect 66 of the most threatened corals immediately. Please write NOAA requesting the agency act quickly and decisively to spare further loss of coral reefs. Visit the agency’s website

to learn more about its coral reef conservation program.

Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere
and Administrator
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Room 5128
Washington, DC 20230

Belugas in Danger

Belugas living in captivity suffer shortened lifespans and reduced quality of life.

In July, we asked our followers to write the Georgia Aquarium president and chief operating officer requesting he withdraw the aquarium’s application for a permit to import 18 wild-caught belugas from Russia, supposedly for the purpose of conservation.

According to a news story, “…Georgia Aquarium’s permit application has little to do with conserving the species and has everything to do with breeding belugas for captivity and petting pools. This was even admitted by William Hurley, the aquarium’s chief zoological officer who confirmed that the 18 belugas will be used in a breeding program across all US facilities.”

We do not need to capture these animals and place them in pools. They are wild animals and should remain in the wild.

Please contact the National Oceanic and Atmospheric agency and express you position that the permit for the Georgia Aquarium should be denied. The public comment period closes October 29, 2012.

You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0158, by any of the following methods:

Online: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.

Mail: Submit written comments to:
Chief, Permits and Conservation Division
Office of Protected Resources
NOAA Fisheries
1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Fax: 301-713-0376; Attn: Jennifer Skidmore

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Minnows Reclassified as Endangered

Paws Up!

To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for reclassifying two fish as endangered.

The spikedace and loach minnow have recently been protected under the Endangered Species Act due to climate change.

According to a news story, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service … pointed to prolonged drought, climate change and an increase in nonnative fish for its decision to reclassify as endangered two fish [spikedace and loach minnow] found in New Mexico and Arizona.”

Drought is a major problem in the desert Southwest. According to the article, “The Southwest is definitely going to have to get better at using water than it already is if there’s going to be any hope, not just for these fish, but virtually every native fish,” Greenwald [species director at the Center for Biological Diversity] said. “The population of almost every species that depends on rivers and streams in the Southwest has gone down.”

Species preservation is one of the reasons the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted in 1973. Two federal agencies are responsible for administering and enforcing the ESA: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). They share responsibility for species that inhabit both marine and land areas; FWS is further responsible for all marine species; NOAA for freshwater fish.

Take Action: Thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for giving these two fish further protection.

Rowan W. Gould, Acting Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Source:
Albuquerque Joural Online

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Fisheries Service Approves Killing Sea Lions

Paws Down!
To the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service for approving the killing of sea lions in the Columbia River.

According to a news source, NOAA’s Fisheries Service has “approved killing the sea lions, which travel up the Columbia River to eat salmon trying to pass the dam on their way to spawn.”

According to the article, “California sea lions are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, but NOAA said the population of about 238,000 is ‘healthy and stable.’”

Photo by lowjumpingfrog

Once humans alter the balance of prey/predator species, we create situations where there are too many of one and not enough of the other. So, then, we decide to correct the balance by, as in this case, killing off a predator. But then what if the salmon don’t return in sufficient numbers? Have we killed sea lions for no purpose? Playing with Mother Nature leads us into some unimaginable scenarios.

Other variables, such as the hydraulic damns, themselves, and the introduction of nonnative species of fish, i.e. bass and walleye, may be contributing to the salmon’s decline; yet it is the sea lion who is being singled out and who will suffer greatly.

Take Action: Write a polite letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service requesting a reevaluation of the plan to kill sea lions.

Eric C. Schwaab
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries
NOAA Fisheries Service
Partnerships & Communications
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Source:
noaanews.noaa.gov/
bendbulletin.com/

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