- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A federal agency has determined that Pacific harbor seals in Iliamna Lake do not warrant protection as an endangered or threatened species.

The Center for Biological Diversity had sought the petition under the Endangered Species Act four years ago.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries said in a Wednesday release that the seals do not constitute a species as defined by the act, and don’t meet the criteria for listing.

The center had argued the seals were distinct from Bristol Bay harbor seals and sought their protection from such things as mine development.

But the agency concluded the Iliamna Lake seals do not constitute a species or subspecies of the Pacific harbor seals found in Bristol Bay.

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