Petition to list US Atlantic sturgeon as endangered is seeking for comments and information

The US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce has released a 90day petition finding and a request for information on a petition to list Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) as endangered, or to list multiple distinct population segments (DPSs) as threatened or endangered and designate critical habitat under the ESA.

On October 6, 2009, the petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to list Atlantic sturgeon as endangered under the ESA was submitted. As an alternative, the petitioner requested that the species be delineated and listed as the five DPSs described in the 2007 Status Review of Atlantic Sturgeon (SRT, 2007); i.e., Gulf of Maine, New York Bight, Chesapeake Bay, Carolina, and South Atlantic DPS, with the Gulf of Maine and South Atlantic DPSs listed as threatened, and the remaining three DPSs listed as endangered.

It is expressed that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted based also on the findings of the 2007 status review for Atlantic sturgeon.

The petition is seeking comments in the process of preparing a determination on whether listing the species or DPSs of the species as threatened or endangered is warranted. To ensure that the determination considers information that is comprehensive and current, scientific and commercial information regarding this species is solicited.

Information and comments must be submitted to NMFS by February 5, 2010. For details and instructions on how to submit comments see the link below.

Prepared by: Joern Gessner

Link: US National Marine Fisheries Service; Atlantic Sturgeon