Tag Archives: Sea Otter

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

California sea otter population reaches record high number

20160829_040311_ottersA growth in the amount of sea urchins, one of the otters’ favorite foods, seems to be the leading reason why otter numbers along the California coast have grown to 3,272 this year, up 11 percent since 2013, experts said as they released the latest survey. “The population is slowly but steadily recovering,” said Tim Tinker, a research biologist in Santa Cruz who leads the U.S. Geological Survey’s otter program. “And that’s good news because sea otters bring ecological benefits.”In fact, the otter population is likely at its highest level in at least 100 years, Tinker said. And for the first time, the otter numbers have exceeded 3,090, the total that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says is needed to be met for three years in a row before they can be considered for removal from the endangered species list. Read the story here 13:45

Burgeoning sea otter population in southern Southeast Alaska depletes commercial fishery species

otters-tokeen-baySea otters enjoy feeding on sea cucumbers, sea urchins, Dungeness crabs and geoducks. Unfortunately, so do people. In southern Southeast Alaska, commercial fisheries for these invertebrate species provide income for local economies. At the same time, a growing population of sea otters is consuming the invertebrates. Predation from the otters is already having an economic impact on commercial fisheries, and the effect is likely to be even greater as the sea otter population continues to increase. Read the post here  07:43

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

Filed on behalf of Fishermen, Pacific Legal Foundation Sea Otter Lawsuit Dismissed

“Obviously, we think the judge’s decision is wrong,” said PLF attorney Jonathan Wood, whose sole option, as detailed by the judge, is to pursue an Administrative Procedure Act petition to rescind relevant parts of the 1987 rule. “Since the dismissal took place so recently, the fishermen are still considering their options to appeal.” Read more here   independent.com 18:25

“I prefer my Sea Otter in a nice stew, thank you!” In Our View – Santa Maria Times- Ensuring life for all creatures

Good news for the otter, however, is not such good news for fishermen, especial sea urchin divers, who insist that the otters decimate the shellfish population. They’re right about that dynamic, but unfortunately for them, otters were fissrewhing these waters eons before human divers came around.

The otter population is far from what it once was. By the time federal agencies began their attempt to relocate otters in an effort to save the species, the count had dropped from an estimated high of more than 16,000 in the late 18th century to less than 3,000. The dramatic depopulation was mostly a result of hunting during the early 19th century, in search of the otters’ luxurious fur.

This was a good year for otters, to be sure, but it looks like some fishermen will have to find a new way to earn a living.

And 2012 has also been a thumbs-up month for California’s marine reserve network, as the final piece of the underwater puzzle fell into place earlier this month in waters off the northern coast. Read More