Tag Archives: MMPA

Sea lions moving into smaller streams – “They’re working on wild fish,”

In the past month or two, a few California (one Steller) sea lions have moved into the lower stretches of the Sandy River and as many as half-dozen (some say more) are devouring winter steelhead in the Clackamas River, as far up as Eagle Creek. Washington officials report sea lions prowling the lower Cowlitz, Lewis and Washougal rivers. And these aren’t just any winter steelhead tickling their palates. By this time of year, the earlier-arriving hatchery-origin steelhead run is largely finished, Todd Alsbury, department district fish biologist, told a group of sportfishing leaders in Clackamas. “They’re working on wild fish,” Alsbury said. “It could make Ballard Locks pale in comparison.” Remember Ballard Locks in Seattle? Apparently few, if any, real lessons were learned from the decimation of Lake Washington’s meager (2,000-3,000 fish) wild steelhead runs by Herschel and a handful of sea lions in the 1990s. Click here to read the article 14:12

Pricey sea cucumbers face increasing sea otter appetites

dive-sea-cucumbersSea cucumbers are the most valuable of Alaska’s dive fisheries and give a nice boost to coastal towns, especially in Southeast. Annual harvests each October hover around one million pounds and attract nearly 200 divers, who will fetch between $4 to $5 a pound for their pickings. The harvest used to approach two million pounds but sea otters have cleaned out cucumbers in many areas over the past decade. None of the areas they have gone back and resurveyed have they seen any sea cucumbers. It’s not like the otter come in and move on and the population rebounds. The otters stay. We’ve lost on an annual basis between 500-000 to 600,000 pounds of product and the trend is downward. Audio report, read the rest here 16:46

Recovery of Marine Mammal predators causes unexpected conservation challenges

In the paper, published in the journal Conservation Letters, scientists explored the effects of these recovering predator populations on their home ecosystems, outlining three major unintended conflicts that have resulted. In the Pacific Northwest the comeback of California sea lions and killer whales, as well as Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), all protected under the MMPA, has increased the animals’ competition with humans for fish. Furthermore, all three predators feed on the ESA-protected Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), whose populations are declining. And competition for fish among the predators could adversely affect them all. Read the rest here 10:40

New England Set Gear Fishermen – Final Rule – Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. Are you Affected?

Whale management areasNMFS issues this final rule to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction. This rule revises the management measures for reducing the incidental mortality and serious injury to the North Atlantic right whale, humpback whale, and fin whale in commercial trap/pot and gillnet fisheries to further the goals of the MMPA, and the ESA. . Read final rule in the Federal Register 18:49

Draft Southeast Sea Otter Population Assessment Out

The draft estimates a total of 25, 712 otters in the region. The number is based on aerial surveys done by researchers in 2010 and 2011. That compares with 10,563 otters in 2003. The otter’s rapid population growth and voracious appetite for shellfish has been a major concern for commercial crabbers, dive fishermen and subsistence harvesters. Listen, and Read more here alaskapublic.org 20:17

Eco Based Management Failure: Otter battleground – Fishermen lose lawsuit in battle against sea otter; supporters relieved

If you’re out surfing or walking along the beach, take a peek toward the Channel Islands. Among the seals, dolphins or rare whales, you might once again spot the California sea otter, due in part to the lifting of an artificial “no-otter zone” and a failed lawsuit to have it reinstated. Read more here  vcreporter  12:18

Great White Sharks Are Back – Has a marine mammal conservation program become too successful?

Gordon Waring, a seal specialist at the NOAA, cautions that marine biologists don’t actually know how seals interact with fisheries, and so far there is no sign that they are eating more than their habitat can support. (seal specialist??,,don’t actually know??) wow. [email protected] slate