Alaska seeks to delist Arctic ringed seals as threatened

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Alaska officials say they are seeking to remove threatened species protection from an Arctic seal species.

KTVA-TV reports the state Department of Fish and Game announced Tuesday that it has petitioned the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to delist the ringed seal from the federal Endangered Species Act.

State Division of Wildlife Conservation Director Eddie Grasser says ringed seals number in the millions, so there doesn’t appear to be a significant case for listing.

NOAA spokeswoman Julie Speegle says the agency has received the petition, triggering a 90-day deadline for NOAA to publish a determination on if the petition has “substantial information” to proceed.

Speegle says a status review process would begin if the petition moves forward, leading to a delisting decision to be made within a year.

Information from: KTVA-TV,