Groups Sue To Protect Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

The Native Village of Chickaloon, The center for Biological Diversity and two other groups are suing the National Marine Fisheries Service, claiming the federal agency’s permit for oil exploration will hurt endangered beluga whales in Cook Inlet.

The groups say NMFS improperly granted the permit to Apache Alaska Corp. for seismic exploration.

A survey last June counted 284 whales.

NMFS spokeswoman Julie Speegle says the agency can’t comment on pending litigation.

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