Comments sought on bowhead whale hunts

The Associated PressJune 16, 2012 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says public comments are being sought on proposed catch limits of Alaska bowhead whales for Eskimo subsistence hunters.

The deadline to submit comments to NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service is Aug. 15, more than a month after the International Whaling Commission meets in Panama in early July. Alaska Native whaling quotas are on the agenda.

The current Alaska bowhead limits are set to expire at the end of the year.

NOAA officials say the fisheries service is proposing an overall limit of 306 bowheads between 2013 and 2018. It would authorize a maximum of 82 bowheads a year if 15 unused whale strikes were added.

The hunts by 11 whaling communities would be governed by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.

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