Stop Apache Alaska from Launching Airgun Attack on Cook Inlet’s Endangered Beluga Whales

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Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) photo by Brian J. Skerry

The Beluga Whale, commonly called the White Whale, is a marine mammal living in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic areas of the world. From a conservation perspective, the beluga is considered “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature; however the subpopulation from the Cook Inlet in Alaska is considered critically endangered and is under the protection of the United States’ Endangered Species Act.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which is the federal agency (a division of the Department of Commerce) responsible for the stewardship of the nation’s living marine resources and their habitat, has issued a permit authorizing the Apache Alaska Corporation to “take” 30 beluga whales during the first year of its oil and gas exploration in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

NMFS listed this population as endangered in 2008 and designated over 3,000 square miles of marine habitat in Cook Inlet as critical for the species’ survival in 2011. Now they are allowing “take” of endangered whales for oil exploration? Are you kidding me?

Please join me in sending a letter to Jane Lubchenco, Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), urging her to direct NMFS to withdraw Apache’s permit and instead develop and implement a recovery plan as required by the Endangered Species Act to ensure the conservation and recovery of Cook Inlet beluga whales.

You can get more information on this catastrophe at Natural Resources Defense Council’s Save the Whales page.

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Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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oceansm
oceansm

I love the ocean and everything in it, however this story is pure deception. If this is the kind of twisted message that you would present to your readers then perhaps they should question your true motives. Mr. Bronson should do a bit of personal research before allowing his name to be rubber-stamped on articles like this. A “take” is a mistake, when a beluga, or even a harbor seal is spotted within 12 kilometeres of an airgun source boat. With helicopters, ships and land-based observers watching to insure that no “takes” are ever made. The truth just doesn’t sound… Read more »

Marc Johnson

wow, one of the saddest things I have read in quite a while. This world is doomed. When will we all wake up….