Subject: Case Study:Greenpeace urges protections f (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 10:48:32 -0500 (EST)

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Date: Fri,  7 Mar 97 12:35:00 GMT 
Subject: Greenpeace urges protections f

Greenpeace urges protections for Steller sea lions

    WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The United States should designate the
north Pacific's Steller sea lion an endangered species as
overfishing off Alaska's coast has caused the sea lions'
population to plunge, Greenpeace said Thursday.
     "The Steller sea lions are in direct competition with the
factory trawlers for food and the Stellers are losing," Ken
Stump, the environmental group's fisheries campaigner, said.
     The National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to
announce a decision within a few days on whether to reclassify
the Steller as endangered, up from its current looser
classification of threatened.
     To save the sea lions and other marine wildlife of Alaska's
coast, Greenpeace said the United States should phase out use of
factory trawlers fishing by 2001.
     In the interim, it said no-trawl buffer zones should be
extended to include sea lion foraging ranges, overall fish catch
quotas should be reduced and the allowable catch should be
reapportioned to save more fish that are important to sea lions'
     Trawlers that fish offshore of Alaska deplete the fish
stocks and drive other fishing vessels closer to shore, further
encroaching on sea lion habitat and food supply, Gerry Leape,
Greenpeace's fisheries legislative director said.
     But a spokesman for the National Marine Fisheries Service
said Alaska fisheries are among the nation's best managed.
"There is no overfishing in the Bering Sea or Alaska waters,"
the spokesman said.
     He also said there has been "no scientific proof that
fishing is the reason for Steller declines."
     Greenpeace said populations of Stellers, which inhabit the
north Pacific Ocean, have plunged from about 250,000 worldwide
since the early 1960s to fewer than 64,000 by 1989.