ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Thursday is the deadline for public comments on future annual quotas for 11 Alaska Native villages whose subsistence hunters are authorized to harvest bowhead whales.
The comments are part of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration review on catch limits for a six-year period to begin in 2019.
The International Whaling Commission, which meets next in Brazil in 2018, has final say on quotas for subsistence harvesting of large whales.
NOAA officials say the routine environmental impact statement being prepared will help the agency decide how Alaska's share of catch limits will be allocated. The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission decides how the quotas are actually split among the whaling communities.
A federal notice posted NOAA fisheries in August lists four possible alternatives to be considered, including not allowing any quotas.