Washington DC: The US Office of the Attorney General (AG) is to defend against a request by an environmental group to have the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) place the ringed seal and the bearded seal on the endangered species list (ESL).
The environmental group filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Anchorage AK suing the Obama administration to seek federal safeguards of the ESL to protect "critical habitat" for the ringed and bearded seals that dwell in coastal waters off northern Alaska. They claim Arctic ice floes are necessary for the seals to hunt for prey, as well as to rest, give birth and nurse their young.
Astonishingly this group that is so acquainted with the seals mating habits also claims these ice seals face threats from offshore Arctic oil development, such as exploratory drilling that Shell Oil has initiated just recently!
Polar bears were granted ESL protections in 2008 even though their numbers have tripled in the last 40 years. The ice floe argument was also made for the bears to be able to hunt their prey, seals. It appears the Polar bears are actually eating the aforementioned seals to give the false appearance of a decreasing seal population.
Over 25 other maritime nations that utilize the Arctic coastal waterways have joined the US AG's defense team, stating that ringed and bearded seals are not endangered and continuously pollute the area. The number of ringed seal and bearded seals is so great that coastal shipping is hazardous because the ship's bilge pumps suck in seal poop and it fouls ships' propellers. Ice floes are also so covered with the slimy stuff, causing a navigational hazard by making the bergs invisible to RADAR and SONAR. This is exclusive of the corrosive effects of seal poop on ship hull materials.
A high placed anonymous White House staffer indicated that First Lady Michelle Obama is looking for a new seal skin coat with Polar bear fur collar. White House Press Secretary Carney vigorously denied this leak!