(a) The harvests of seals on St. Paul and St. George Islands shall be treated independently for the purposes of this section. Any suspension, termination, or extension of the harvest is applicable only to the island for which it is issued.
(b) By April 1 of every third year, beginning April 1994, the Assistant Administrator will publish in the Federal Register a summary of the preceding 3 years of harvesting and a discussion of the number of seals expected to be taken annually over the next 3 years to satisfy the subsistence requirements of each island. This discussion will include an assessment of factors and conditions on St. Paul and St. George Islands that influence the need by Pribilof Aleuts to take seals for subsistence uses and an assessment of any changes to those conditions indicating that the number of seals that may be taken for subsistence each year should be made higher or lower. Following a 30-day public comment period, a final notification of the expected annual harvest levels for the next 3 years will be published.
(1) No fur seal may be taken on the Pribilof Islands before June 23 of each year.
(2) No fur seal may be taken except by experienced sealers using the traditional harvesting methods, including stunning followed immediately by exsanguination. The harvesting method shall include organized drives of subadult males to killing fields unless it is determined by the NMFS representatives, in consultation with the Pribilovians conducting the harvest, that alternative methods will not result in increased disturbance to the rookery or the increased accidental take of female seals.
(3) Any taking of adult fur seals or pups, or the intentional taking of subadult female fur seals is prohibited.
(4) Only subadult male fur seals 124.5 centimeters or less in length may be taken.
(5) Seals with tags and/or entangling debris may only be taken if so directed by NMFS scientists.
(d) The scheduling of the harvest is at the discretion of the Pribilovians, but must be such as to minimize stress to the harvested seals. The Pribilovians must give adequate advance notice of their harvest schedules to the NMFS representatives to allow for necessary monitoring activities. Scheduling must be consistent with the following restrictions:
(1)St. Paul Island—Seals may only be harvested from the following haulout areas: Zapadni, English Bay, Northeast Point, Polovina, Lukanin, Kitovi, and Reef. No haulout area may be harvested more than once per week.
(2)St. George Island—Seals may only be harvested from the following haulout areas: Northeast and Zapadni. Neither haulout area may be harvested more than twice per week.
(1) The Assistant Administrator is required to suspend the take provided for in § 215.31 when:
(i) He determines, after reasonable notice by NMFS representatives to the Pribilovians on the island, that the subsistence needs of the Pribilovians on the island have been satisfied;
(ii) He determines that the harvest is otherwise being conducted in a wasteful manner; or
(iii) The lower end of the range of the estimated subsistence level provided in the notice issued under paragraph (b) of this section is reached.
(2) A suspension based on a determination under paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section may be lifted by the Assistant Administrator if he finds that the conditions which led to the determination that the harvest was being conducted in a wasteful manner have been remedied.
(3) A suspension issued in accordance with paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section may not exceed 48 hours in duration and shall be followed immediately by a review of the harvest data to determine if a finding under paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section is warranted. If a the harvest is not suspended under paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section, the Assistant Administrator must provide a revised estimate of the number of seals required to satisfy the Pribilovians' subsistence needs.
(f) The Assistant Administrator shall terminate the take provided for in § 215.31 on August 8 of each year or when it is determined under paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section that the subsistence needs of the Pribilovians on the island have been satisfied, whichever occurs first.
[51 FR 24840, July 9, 1986, as amended at 57 FR 33902, July 31, 1992; 59 FR 35474, July 12, 1994. Redesignated at 61 FR 11750, Mar. 22, 1996]
Title 50 published on 2014-10-01.
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