Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 12:16 PM on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More environmental review ordered in Steller sea lion case




ANCHORAGE (AP) — A federal court judge has ordered the National Marine Fisheries Service to perform additional environmental work for its rules that protect endangered Steller sea lions in the western Aleutian Islands.

The order by District Court Judge Tim Burgess follows his ruling in January that the agency in general followed proper procedures as it restricted commercial fishing of Atka mackerel and Pacific cod.

The state of Alaska and two fishing groups challenged the restrictions.

Burgess' order Monday keeps restrictions in place but requires an environmental impact statement, with the chance for public comment, rather than the less thorough "environmental assessment."

The statement must be completed by March 2014.

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