[Federal Register: October 9, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 196)]
[Page 62979-62983]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of Final Stock Assessment Reports

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of final marine mammal stock assessment 
reports for Pacific walrus, polar bear, and sea otter in Alaska; 
response to comments.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), 
the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has incorporated public comments 
into revisions of marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs) for 
Pacific walrus, polar bear, and sea otter in Alaska. The 2002 final 
SARs are now complete and available to the public.

ADDRESSES: Send requests for printed copies of the final stock 
assessment reports to: Chief, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine 
Mammals Management Office, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503, 
(800) 362-5148.

Electronic Access

    Copies of the final stock assessment reports are available on the 
Internet in Adobe Acrobat format at http://www.r7.fws.gov/mmm/SAR.



    Section 117 of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361-1407) requires the FWS and 
the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to prepare stock 
assessment reports for each marine mammal stock that occurs in waters 
under the jurisdiction of the United States. Section 117 of the MMPA 
also requires the FWS and the NMFS to review the stock assessment 
reports: (a) At least annually for stocks that are specified as 
strategic stocks; (b) at least annually for stocks for which 
significant new information is available; and (c) at least once every 
three years for all other stocks. If the review indicates that the 
status of the stock has changed or can be more accurately determined, 
the agencies are directed to revise the SARs. We published the initial 
SARs in 1995 and revised SARs for Pacific walrus and polar bears in 
    Draft 2002 SARs were made available for a 90-day public review and 
comment period on March 28, 2002 (67 FR 14959). Prior to releasing them 
for public review and comment, FWS subjected the draft reports to 
internal technical review and to scientific review

[[Page 62980]]

by the Alaska Regional Scientific Review Group (ASRG) established under 
the MMPA. Following the close of the comment period, FWS revised the 
stock assessments and prepared the final 2002 SARs.
    Previous stock assessments covered a single stock of Pacific 
walrus, two stocks of polar bears (Chukchi/Bering seas and Southern 
Beaufort Sea), and a single stock of sea otters in Alaska. There are no 
changes in stock identification for Pacific walrus and polar bear, 
however three stocks of sea otters (southwest Alaska, southcentral 
Alaska, and southeast Alaska) have now been identified.
    A strategic stock is defined in the MMPA as a marine mammal stock 
(A) for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds the 
potential biological removal level; (B) which, based on the best 
available scientific information, is declining and is likely to be 
listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
within the foreseeable future; or (C) which is listed as a threatened 
or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, or is 
designated as depleted under the MMPA.
    Only the southwest Alaska stock of sea otters was classified as 
strategic. All other stocks were classified as non-strategic. Based on 
the best available scientific information, sea otter numbers across 
southwest Alaska are declining. In April 2000, an aerial survey of sea 
otters in the Aleutian Islands indicated the population had declined by 
70% during the period from 1992-2000. In August 2000 FWS designated the 
northern sea otter in the Aleutian Islands as a candidate species under 
the Endangered Species Act. Additional surveys in 2000 and 2001 along 
the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak archipelago also showed population 
declines in these areas. As a result, the southwest Alaska stock is 
classified as strategic in the final report and is under review for 
possible listing under the Endangered Species Act.
    A summary of the final revised stock assessment reports is 
presented in Table 1. The table lists each marine mammal stock, 
estimated abundance (NEST), minimum abundance estimate 
(NMIN), maximum theoretical growth rate (RMAX), 
recovery factor (FR), Potential Biological Removal (PBR), 
annual estimated average human-caused mortality, and the status of each 

                                           Table 1.--Summary of Final Stock Assessment Reports for Pacific Walrus, Polar Bear, and Sea Otter in Alaska
                                                                                                                         Mortality causes (5 yr. average)
               Species                         Stock             NEST     NMIN     RMAX      ER      PBR   -----------------------------------------------------------        Stock status
                                                                                                                  Subsistence        Fishery            Other
Pacific Walrus......................  Alaska.................       --       --     0.08       --       --  5,789.................          1  4.....................  Non-strategic.
Polar Bear..........................  Alaska.................       --       --     0.06      0.5       --  45 (Alaska)...........          0  0 (Alaska)............  Non-strategic.
                                      Chukchi/Bering Seas....                                               100+ (Russia).........             -- (Russia)...........
Polar Bear..........................  Alaska.................    2,272    1,971     0.06      1.0       88  34 (Alaska)...........          0  <1 (Alaska)...........  Non-strategic.
                                      Southern Beaufort Sea..                                               20 (Canada)...........             0 (Canada)............
Sea Otter...........................  Southeast Alaska.......   12,632    9,266     0.20      1.0      927  301...................          0  0.....................  Non-strategic.
Sea Otter...........................  Southcentral Alaska....   16,552   13,955     0.20      1.0    1,396  297...................          0  0.....................  Non-strategic.
Sea Otter...........................  Southwest Alaska.......   41,474   33,203     0.20     0.25      830  97....................         <1  0.....................  Strategic.
Dash(--)indicates unknown value.

Comments and Responses

    FWS received 4 letters containing comments for sea otters, 3 
letters for Pacific walrus, and two letters for polar bears. The 
comments and responses are separated below by species.

Sea Otter Stock Assessment Reports

    Comment 1: One commenter noted that the calculation of 
Nmin for some sea otter surveys does not incorporate 
available estimates of sampling variance.
    Response: We revised our approach to estimating Nmin for 
surveys that are uncorrected for sea otters not detected by observers 
by applying generic correction factors appropriate for the type of 
survey. This approach is consistent with our finding on a recent 
petition to list sea otters in Alaska as depleted under the MMPA (66 FR 
55693, November 2, 2001)
    Comment 2: Several commenters noted that the population estimates 
for the Cook Inlet and Kenai Fiords areas are outdated, do not conform 
to the established stock boundaries, and include duplication of effort 
in Kachemak Bay.
    Response: We have substituted recent population estimates for these 
areas that remedy these problems.
    Comment 3: One commenter indicated that the population estimate for 
much of the southeast Alaska stock is outdated.
    Response: The survey in question is 7 years old. Stock Assessment 
guidelines state that abundance estimates older than 8 years are not 
reliable. Although it is still acceptable for use in the current stock 
assessment, we recognize the limitations of the existing data and have 
requested the U.S. Geological Survey, Division of Biological Resources, 
to conduct an aerial survey of sea otters in southeast Alaska. This 
survey is currently underway, and will be completed in sections over 
the next 2-3 years.
    Comment 4: One commenter recommended that sea otter population 
estimates would be clearer if they were presented in tabular form.
    Response: Tables of survey results have been included in the final 
stock assessment reports for sea otters.
    Comment 5: Several commenters noted that sea otter population 
estimates included unpublished data.
    Response: Typically peer-reviewed journals follow a 1-2 year cycle 
from manuscript preparation to submission to acceptance to publication. 
We believe that presentation of recent unpublished survey results, from 
surveys we conducted, is preferable than using older published 
estimates, and more appropriately meets the standard of ``the best 
scientific information available.''
    Comment 6: One commenter stated that the observed sea otter 
population growth rate of 12% for the Cross Sound/

[[Page 62981]]

Icy Strait region may not be representatives of the entire southeast 
Alaska stock.
    Response: We agree and have added text to clarify this point.
    Comment 7: One commenter was concerned the fisheries information 
does not include information about fisheries that have the potential to 
interact with sea otters.
    Response: Section 117(a)(4) of the Act states that stock assessment 
shall ``deserve commercial fisheries that interact with the stock.'' We 
interpret this to mean those fisheries for which we have information 
about interactions, not fisheries with the potential for interaction as 
suggested above. We see little value in speculating as to which 
fisheries might interact with sea otters. For a detailed list of 
fisheries and marine mammal interactions, the reader is directed to 
NMFS Continuing List of Fisheries [67 FR 2410, January 17, 2002]. The 
FWS relies on NMFS to provide us with estimates of fishery 
interactions. For further details on the limitations of these data, the 
reader is directed to the most recent NMFS Notice of Availability of 
Final Stock Assessment Reports [67 FR 10671, March 8, 2002].
    Comment 8: Several commenters noted harvest estimates from the 
marine mammal Marking, Tagging, and Reporting Program may be biased low 
to an unknown degree due to incomplete hunter compliance.
    Response: We believe this potential source of bias is extremely 
small for the following reason. Sea otters are hunted for their pelts, 
which must be tanned before they can be fashioned into handicrafts, and 
commercial tanneries will not accept untagged pelts. For accuracy, we 
have inserted the word ``Estimated'' into figure legends for 
subsistence harvest.
    Comment 9: One commenter noted that information about the number of 
sea otters captured and released for scientific research was not 
    Response: Statistics on capture and release for scientific research 
have been included.

Pacific Walrus Stock Assessment Report

    Comment 10: One commenter noted that the section ``Current and 
maximum net productivity rates'' referred to a study by University of 
Alaska researchers to investigate the reproductive rates of free-
ranging walrus herds. The commenter recommended that the reproductive 
rates and/or juvenile survival rates observed in these studies be 
reported in the SAR.
    Response: The FWS has concluded that these data are too preliminary 
for inclusion in the 2001 SAR and has removed all references to this 
study. The FWS will reconsider including this information in future 
SAR's once the study is complete.
    Comment 11: Two commenters recommended making changes to the 
section ``Conservation issues and habitat concerns'' in reference to 
the issue of global warming and its potential impacts to the Pacific 
walrus population.
    Response: At the present time there are no data available to make 
reliable predictions of the net impacts that changing climate 
conditions might have on the status and trend of the Pacific walrus 
population. The text of the SAR has been modified to clarify this 
    Comment 12: One commenter noted that the SAR underestimated struck-
and-lost rates for subsistence-harvested animals and questioned the 
accuracy of the sex-ratio reported for the walrus harvest in Alaska. 
The commenter refers to recent FWS harvest monitoring field reports, 
describing harvest monitoring activities in the Bering Strait region, 
that suggest that self-reporting of struck-and-lost rates are likely to 
be negatively biased and describe a harvest with a skewed sex-ratio 
favoring females and dependent calves.
    Response: Due to potentially negative bias associated with self-
reporting of struck-and-lost rates, the FWS did not include this data 
in the SAR. The struck-and-lost estimate reported in the SAR is based 
on a published study describing the number of walrus struck and lost 
during monitored subsistence hunts in Alaska (Fay et al. 1994), The 
annual field reports referred to by the commenter describe a subset of 
the annual subsistence walrus harvest in Alaska. Although the spring 
hunt in these Bering Strait communities is frequently characterized by 
a sex-ratio skewed towards females, the sex ratio of the state-wide 
harvest over the 5-year period described in the 2001 SAR (1996-2000) 
was near parity. The source of the sex-ratio information was the FWS 
Marking, Tagging, and Reporting Program, which is a State-wide, year-
round program that requires subsistence hunters to report the age and 
gender of all harvested walrus to the FWS. The source of the sex-ratio 
information was referenced in the text for clarity.
    Comment 13: One commenter noted that the 42% struck-and-lost rate 
described in the SAR was based on data at least eight years old and 
speculated that this rate may change over time due to changes in 
hunting conditions and practices. The commenter recommended that this 
assumption should be verified from time to time and modified 
accordingly if it is found to change.
    Response: In the absence of more recent scientific data, the FWS 
has chosen to use the published 42% rate for struck-and-lost animals as 
the best available scientific information for calculation of total 
harvest levels. However, the FWS agrees with the commenter that it is 
important to update or verify this struck-and-lost information 
periodically. The FWS hopes to initiate cooperative studies with the 
Eskimo Walrus Commission to examine struck-and-lost rates in the near 
    Comment 14: One commenter recommended that the draft stock 
assessment should emphasize that the Pacific walrus population may be 
in decline, even as the subsistence hunt continues to take a very large 
number of animals.
    Response: The current size and trend of the Pacific walrus 
population is unknown. In the absence of new survey information, it is 
not possible to make reliable predictions regarding population trend.
    Comment 15: One commenter noted that Russian officials consider the 
level of fisheries interaction to the small. The commenter felt this 
statement could be reassuring or misleading and recommended that the 
statement that the level of take in Russian waters is undetermined.
    Response: We agree and have changed the text in the SAR to indicate 
that there are no data available concerning the incidental catch of 
walrus in fisheries operating in Russian waters.
    Comment 16: One commenter noted that the section on ``Fisheries 
information'' refers to trawl and longline fishery interactions, but 
does not distinguish the level of takes between two gear types or the 
multiple fisheries that they represent.
    Response: The text was modified to clarify that the only fishery 
for which incidental kill or injury was reported was the domestic 
Bering Sea groundfish trawl fishery. For additional information 
regarding fisheries interactions, the SAR references a complete list of 
fisheries and marine mammal interactions published annually by NMFS [67 
FR 2410, January 17, 2002].
    Comment 17: One commenter noted that the observer coverage for 
fisheries observer data was not stated.
    Response: The range of observer coverage over the 5-year period 
(1996-2000), as well as the annual observed and estimated mortalities, 
are included in Table 2 of the SAR.

[[Page 62982]]

    Comment 18: One commenter noted that the SAR states that most of 
the interactions involve walruses dead from other causes and 
recommended that the report provide information to support this 
    Response: The text was modified to clarify that most of the 
observed interactions were with decomposed walrus carcasses or skeleton 
remains suggesting that the animals died prior to their interaction 
with the fishing gear.
    Comment 19: One commenter noted that the SAR states that the rate 
of mortality and injury is estimated at ``less than two animal [sic] 
per year,'' but the basis of that estimate is not clear from the data 
    Response: The SAR identifies the NMFS observer program as the 
source of information regarding fisheries interactions in U.S. waters. 
The range of observer coverage over the 5-year period (1996-2000), as 
well as the annual observed and estimated mortalities are included in 
Table 2.
    Comment 20: One commenter recommended that the SAR should identify 
the potential indirect impacts that bottom trawling may have on the 
Pacific walrus population through alteration of habitat.
    Response; Section 117(a)(4) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act 
states that stock assessments shall ``describe commercial fisheries 
that interact with the stock.'' We interpret this to mean those 
fisheries for which we have information about direct interactions with 
walrus, not fisheries with potential secondary impacts as suggested 

Polar Bear Stock Assessment Reports

Chukchi/Bering Sea

    Comment 21: One commenter questioned whether the process of 
delineating stocks is based on political reasons such as management 
agreements or evidence of significant biological distinction.
    Response: We clarified the stock assessments for the Chukchi/Bering 
Seas stock and the Southern Beaufort Sea stock assessment to indicate 
that past and present management regimes have consistently 
distinguished between the Southern Beaufort Sea and Chukchi/Bering Seas 
stocks based upon biological evidence presented in the stock 
    Comment 22: Two commenters noted that the evidence suggesting that 
the stock has grown since 1972 was not sufficient to support the claims 
made regarding the trends in this population. This section also states 
that it is realistic to infer that the Chukchi/Bering Seas stock 
mimicked the growth pattern and later stability of the Beaufort Seas 
stock since that stocks have experienced similar management and harvest 
histories. However, this inference could be reasonably questioned for 
several reasons. First, growth patterns are a function of multiple 
factors including, but not limited to, harvest and management 
histories. As harvest and management histories are not the only 
determinants of growth trends, and as other possible factors (e.g., 
disease, shifts in distribution or availability of prey) are not 
evaluated, this inference should be questioned.
    Response: We agree that scientific evidence is scant regarding 
population trends for the Chukchi/Bering Seas stock. Most of the 
evidence cited in sub-points a-e are from previous data should have not 
been reaffirmed in recent years. We have revised this section to 
indicate that, while evidence or impressions of population growth were 
appropriate previously, current data to support this conclusion is not 
available. For reasons stated earlier, it appeared reasonable to 
believe that the Chukchi/Bering Seas stock experienced growth following 
a 50% reduction in harvest in the 1970's and that population growth 
likely continued up to the early 1990s, similar to the Beaufort Sea 
stock. The Beaufort Sea stock stabilized in the 1990's. It is possible 
that the same may have been true for the Chukchi/Bering Seas stock, 
although this population was subject to additive unknown harvest 
levels, starting around 1992, that may have affected its status. 
Supporting evidence is not available to confirm the status of the 
population, and recent information regarding increased Russian harvest 
and decreased Alaska harvest are cause for concern. Consequently, we 
have chosen to designate the status of the Chukchi/Bering Seas stock as 
    Comment 23: One commenter noted that the harvest patterns for the 
two stocks may not have been the same. Subsistence harvests are 
illustrated in Figure 2 of each SAR, but comparisons should be done 
carefully as the y-axis is not the same in the two figures, and it 
appears that the number of bears taken from the Chukchi/Bering Seas 
stock may have been on the order of two times the number taken from the 
Southern Beaufort Sea stock. The significance of that difference will 
depend in part on the respective size of the two populations, and since 
the size of the Chukchi/Bering Seas stock is undetermined, the effects 
of harvesting are not clear.
    Response: Figure 2 illustrates that the trend of declining U.S. 
harvests, post MMPA, were similar for both stocks. We acknowledge that 
the respective size of the two populations is crucial to understanding 
the effect of any harvest regime. Recent decline in harvest levels from 
the Alaska Chukchi/Bering Seas during the period 1996-2001 and reports 
of substantial illegal harvest in Russia are of concern. Because of 
these concerns, we revised the status of this stock to unknown.
    Comment 24: One commenter noted that the report does not provide a 
basis for confidence in the precision and reliability of harvest 
estimates for Russian harvests.
    Response: We have changed the Figure 2 caption to ``Annual Alaska 
polar bear harvest from 1961-2001.'' We have added text in the SAR to 
clarify that harvest estimates for Chukotka are based on anecdotal 
    Comment 25: Two commenters suggested that data for this stock 
continue to be insufficient for establishing a population estimate and 
urge the FWS to prioritize its research needs to improve the data 
available on this stock.
    Response: The FWS has placed an emphasis on the development of the 
US/Russia Bilateral Treaty for the conservation of this population 
stock. The bilateral treaty includes provisions for conducting research 
to monitor population trends and develop population estimates for the 
Chukchi/Bering Seas stock. The current polar bear research program does 
not have adequate personnel or funding to conduct operations in both 
the Southern Beaufort Sea and the Chukchi/Bering Seas. The FWS 
continues to support implementation of the Bilateral Treaty, unified 
harvest management programs in Russia and Alaska, and conducting an 
aggressive polar bear research program to more effectively monitor this 
    Comment 26: One commenter noted that factors which may affect 
growth rates, including potential effects of global climate change and 
persistent organic pollutants were not included in the Southern 
Beaufort Sea stock assessment.
    Response: We have incorporated these references into the Southern 
Beaufort Sea stock assessment.
    Comment 27: One commenter recommended including the basis for the 
statement that the number of unreported kills since 1980 to the present 
time is thought to be negligible.
    Response: We consider the number of unreported kills since 1980 to 
be negligible for the following reasons. All harvested bears in Alaska 
are required to have the skull and skin tagged through FWS's Marking, 
Tagging, and

[[Page 62983]]

Reporting Program. Due to the relatively small number of bears taken; 
the high visibility, cultural importance, and sharing of the take 
within villages; the relatively large size and visible methods of 
handling polar bear hides; and repeated visits by biologists and 
reports from harvest monitors, we believe that the total harvest is 
accurately represented by the tagged and untagged bear harvest totals.
    Comment 28: One commenter requested clarification on whether 
illegal hunting in Russia increased or became significant in 1992, and 
whether the occurrence of illegal hunting has been acknowledged since 
    Response: The text has been clarified to indicate that the 
occurrence and significance of illegal hunting was thought to have 
begun in 1992.
    Comment 29: Two commenters noted that the basis for the statement 
that the ``stock appears to be stable despite a substantial annual 
harvest'' should be either justified with suitable evidence or deleted.
    Response: For reasons previously stated, we have modified the text 
to acknowledge that the population status or trend of this population 
is unknown.
    Comment 30: The draft stock assessment does not consider the impact 
of oil and gas development on polar bears as is done with the sea otter 
    Response: Oil and gas exploration or development projects have not 
been proposed in the Alaska Chukchi/Bering Seas during the past five 
years. If future oil and gas development projects are proposed, we will 
consider the potential effects to polar bears.

Southern Beaufort Sea

    Comment 31: One commenter noted that it was not clear if estimates 
of the female, total, and minimum populations pertain to the entire 
period from 1986 to 1998, or perhaps only to the end of the period. 
Previous estimates by the same lead author suggested a doubling of size 
during the period from 1988 to 1998, although the report later suggests 
that the population is stable.
    Response: We have condensed and clarified this information to 
indicate that Amstrup (unpublished data) estimated the total population 
to be 2,272. This population estimate for the period 1986-98 was based 
on an estimate of 1,250 females (CV = 0.17) and a sex ratio of 55% 
female from the best model (Amstrup et al. 2001). Nmin is 
1,973 bears for a population size of 2,272 anc CV of 0.17.
    Comment 32: In addition, it was not clear that the estimate of the 
minimum population is calculated correctly. The female population is 
estimated as 1,250 with a CV of 0.17. The total population is estimated 
by 1,250/0.55 and, based on the estimated minimum population, it 
appears that 0.55 was treated as a constant. Presumably, however, 0.55 
is a correction factor that is also estimated with some degree of 
error, and that error should be included in the calculation of the CV 
for the total population estimate.
    Response: A variance was not calculated for the 55% female sex 
composition and thus the ration is used as a constant for the abundance 
estimate. The Nmin estimate is correct, and typographic 
errors in the formula have been corrected.
    Comment 33: One commenter suggested that the basis for the 
arguments that the population may have approached carrying capacity (K) 
was not evident based on the information provided. The report states 
that ``the indication that the population was stable, births 
approximated deaths, is noteworthy.'' It is unlikely that the data are 
available to confirm that births approximated deaths, so that statement 
appears to be a supposition. It is not clear what is meant by the 
statement that this supposition seems ``noteworthy.'' Clarification 
would be useful.
    Response: The text has been revised to emphasize that the most 
recent population modeling exercise (Amstrup et al. 2001) suggests that 
the population grew during the late 1970's and 1980's and stablized in 
the 1990's. Inferences to the population relationship with carrying 
capacity have been removed. The statement that modeling indicates that 
the population stablized in the 1990's (Amstrup et al. 2001) is 
supported and has been retained as noteworthy since it indicates a 
change in status.
    Comment 34: One commenter suggested that, without good juvenile 
survival estimates, life-history analysis and estimated growth rates 
may be inaccurate.
    Response: Juvenile survival rates are not known for this 
population, nor well known for any polar bear population. We have good 
information on survival estimates of yearlings and two-year-old bears. 
Recently weaned two-year-old bears were assigned survival estimates of 
the two-year-old bears, and the three-year-old bears were given 
survival estimates of yearlings. We believe that these estimates are 
    Comment 35: The stock assessment for the Southern Beaufort Sea 
stock of polar bears notes that the potential biological removal level 
for this stock has been adjusted upward from 59 to 88 to account for 
the male harvest bias. For this stock, such an adjustment may be 
consistent with the purpose of PBR as set forth in the first sentence 
of the statutory definition (section 3 (20)), but is not consistent 
with the second part of the definition setting forth the formula for 
calculating PBR.
    Response: In the narrative, PBR levels are calculated with and 
without a sex-biased harvest adjustment. We have chosen the adjusted 
PBR since it more accurately reflects what we would consider as a safe 
biological removal level. This is an issue of perception more than 
substance, since there is no application beyond taking of polar bears 
incidental to commercial fishing, and no incidental take of polar bears 
by commercial fisheries has occurred.
    Comment 36: One found that the reported numbers of polar bear kills 
in the section on ``Sport and native Subsistence Harvest'' was 
confusing. A table of annual bear harvests by stock, time period, 
country, and type of hunt (sport versus subsistence) would help to 
clarify the history of harvest from this stock.
    Response: We have reorganized and revised the text in this section 
and Figure 2 caption to clarify the harvest information. Figure 2 is 
included to illustrate a decline in the Alaska harvest after passage of 
the MMPA in 1972. The last five years of the Canada harvest data for 
the Southern Beaufort Sea stock have been summarized in the text.
    Comment 37: One commenter noted that it was unclear as to whether 
the reference to industry pertains to the oil and gas industry 
specifically or all industry in general.
    Response: The use of industry in the generic sense is correct in 
this sentence. While the incidental take regulations apply to the oil 
and gas industry, the statute allows U.S. citizens, including any 
industry, to petition for the development of incidental take 

Literature Cited

Amstrup, S.C., T.L. McDonald, and I. Stirling. 2001. Polar bears in the 
Beaufort sea: A 30-year mark-recapture case history. Journal of 
Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics. Vol 6(2):221-
Fay, F.H. J.J. Burns, S.W. Stoker, and J.S. Grundy. 1984. The struck-
and-lost factor in Alaskan walrus harvests. Arctic 47(4):368-373.

    Dated: August 29, 2002.
David B. Allen,
Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 02-25679 Filed 10-8-02; 8:45 am]