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Title 50Chapter IISubchapter CPart 216Subpart F → §216.72


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 216—REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS
Subpart F—Pribilof Islands, Taking for Subsistence Purposes


§216.72   Restrictions on subsistence use of fur seals.

(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)-(c)[Reserved]

(d)

(d) St. George Island. The subsistence fur seal harvest restrictions described in paragraphs (d)(1) through (5) of this section apply exclusively to the harvest of sub-adult fur seals; restrictions that apply exclusively to the harvest of young of the year fur seals can be found in paragraphs (d)(6) through (11) of this section. For the taking of fur seals for subsistence uses, Pribilovians on St. George Island may harvest up to a total of 500 male fur seals per year over the course of both the sub-adult male harvest and the male young of the year harvest. Pribilovians are authorized each year up to three mortalities of female fur seals associated with the subsistence seasons. Any female fur seal mortalities will be included in the total authorized subsistence harvest of 500 fur seals per year.

(1) Pribilovians may only harvest sub-adult male fur seals 124.5 centimeters or less in length from June 23 through August 8 annually on St. George Island.

(2) Pribilovians may harvest sub-adult male fur seals at the hauling grounds shown in Figure 1 to part 216. No hauling ground may be harvested more than twice per week.

(3) [Reserved]

(4) The scheduling of the sub-adult male 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. 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 sub-adult male fur seals to killing fields, unless the NMFS representatives determine, 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.

(5) [Reserved]

(6) Pribilovians may only harvest male young of the year from September 16 through November 30 annually on St. George Island. Pribilovians may harvest up to 150 male fur seal young of the year annually.

(7) No more than 50 male young of the year may be harvested from each of the following regions where fur seals congregate: East region includes the breeding areas known as East Reef and East Cliffs rookeries and the associated non-breeding hauling grounds; South region includes the breeding areas known as Zapadni and South rookeries and the associated non-breeding hauling grounds; and North region includes the breeding areas known as North and Staraya Artil rookeries and associated non-breeding hauling grounds, as shown in Figure 1 to part 216. No area may be harvested more than twice per week and must be in accordance with paragraph (d)(10) of this section.

(8) The scheduling of the young of the year harvest is at the discretion of the Pribilovians, but must be such as to minimize stress to the harvested and un-harvested fur seals and minimize the take of female fur seals. The Pribilovians must give adequate advance notice of their harvest schedules to the NMFS representatives to allow for necessary monitoring activities. No fur seal may be taken except by sealers using the harvesting methods implemented to reduce disturbance, injury, and accidental mortality of female fur seals. Pribilovians may use, but are not limited to, organized drives of young of the year fur seals from congregating areas to inland killing fields. Methods of harvest must include identification of male young of the year, followed by stunning and immediate exsanguination, unless the NMFS representatives, in consultation with the Pribilovians conducting the harvest, determine that alternative methods will not result in increased stress to harvested and un-harvested fur seals, increased disturbance or injury to resting fur seals, or the accidental mortality of female seals.

(9) [Reserved]

(10) No young of the year fur seals may be taken from any designated breeding area or its associated hauling ground(s) where the most recent NMFS analysis projects that pup production has greater than a 5 percent probability of falling below a level capable of sustaining a harvest in 10 years.

(11) No more than 120 days after the final subsistence harvest each calendar year, NMFS representatives and St. George Island community members must review the implementation of the harvest and consider best harvest practices and determine if implementation can be improved to better meet the subsistence needs of the St. George Island community or reduce negative effects on fur seals.

(e) St. Paul Island. For the taking of fur seals for subsistence uses, Pribilovians on St. Paul Island are authorized to take by hunt and harvest up to 2,000 juvenile (less than 7 years old, including pups) male fur seals per year.

(1) Juvenile male fur seals may be killed with firearms from January 1 through May 31 annually, or may be killed using alternative hunting methods developed through the St. Paul Island Co-management Council if those methods are consistent with §216.71 and result in substantially similar effects. A firearm is any weapon, such as a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a missile using an explosive charge as a propellant.

(2) Juvenile male fur seals may be harvested without the use of firearms from June 23 through December 31 annually. Authorized harvest may be by established harvest methods of herding and stunning followed immediately by exsanguination, or by alternative harvest methods developed through the St. Paul Island Co-management Council if those methods are consistent with §216.71 and result in substantially similar effects.

(3) Pribilovians are authorized each year up to 20 mortalities of female fur seals associated with the subsistence seasons. Any female fur seal mortalities will be included in the total number of fur seals authorized per year for subsistence uses (2,000).

(f) Subsistence use suspension provisions. (1) The Assistant Administrator is required to suspend the take provided for in §216.71 on St. George and/or St. Paul Islands, as appropriate, when:

(i) He or she determines that subsistence use is being conducted in a wasteful manner; or

(ii) With regard to St. George Island, two female fur seals have been killed during the subsistence seasons on St. George Island.

(2) A suspension based on a determination under paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section may be lifted by the Assistant Administrator if he or she finds that the conditions that led to the determination that subsistence use was being conducted in a wasteful manner have been remedied.

(3) A suspension based on a determination under paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section may be lifted by the Assistant Administrator if he or she finds that the conditions that led to the killing of two female fur seals on St. George Island have been remedied and additional or improved methods to detect female fur seals during the subsistence seasons are being implemented.

(g) Subsistence use termination provisions. The Assistant Administrator shall terminate the annual take provided for in §216.71 on the Pribilof Islands, as follows:

(1) For St. Paul Island:

(i) For the hunting of juvenile male fur seals with firearms, at the end of the day on May 31 or when 2,000 fur seals have been killed, whichever comes first;

(ii) For the harvest of juvenile male fur seals without firearms, at the end of the day on December 31 or when 2,000 fur seals have been killed, whichever comes first; or

(iii) When 20 female fur seals have been killed during the subsistence seasons.

(2) For St. George Island:

(i) For the sub-adult male harvest, at the end of the day on August 8 or when 500 sub-adult male seals have been harvested, whichever comes first;

(ii) For the male young of the year harvest, at the end of the day on November 30 or earlier when either of the following occurs first: 150 male young of the year fur seals have been harvested or a total of 500 male sub-adult and male young of the year fur seals have been harvested; or

(iii) When three female fur seals have been killed during the subsistence seasons.

[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, as amended at 79 FR 65337, Nov. 4, 2014; 84 FR 52382, Oct. 2, 2019]

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