November 20, 2013 Otters, fishing and hunting – finding a balance
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Finding a balance between fishing, hunting and sea otters. More after this –
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It’s well known that sea otters are ravaging a variety of shellfish stocks in Southeast Alaska. A four year study sheds some new light on how far the animals are migrating and their impacts on sea cucumbers, Dungeness crab and other species.
What we’re seeing is an otter population that is growing exponentially in southern Southeast Alaska. It is not happening in every place. A lot of areas where otters have been for quite some time, we’re actually seeing a slowing in the population growth and those sort of sub populations have a much different diet than other sub populations within this larger southern southeast population that have larger growth rates and have higher densities.
Grad student Zack Hoyt has been a team leader and diver on the otter project in collaboration with Alaska Sea Grant and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The team captured 30 otters and tagged them with radio transmitters and tracked their movements. Hoyt says the declines on commercial species can’t all be blamed on the otters.
We do know it is probably a major cause of the decline in a lot of these fisheries but we have also got a lot of other things that we kind of have got to tease out of this. There’s economics involved, regulations involved that allow certain areas to get depleted even faster than they would because of compression of fleets, and sort of other management scenarios.
Sea otters were wiped out by the fur trade at the turn of the 20th century. The state reintroduced about 400 animals to Southeast waters in the 1960s. U-S Fish and Wildlife estimates the population now at nearly 26 thousand and growing fast. The animals are a protected species and can only be hunted by Alaska Natives. So far this year they’ve taken 1, 380 statewide; more than 1, 000 were from Southeast.
Rockingham Fishing & Hunting Expo
Rockingham Fishing and Hunting Expo
The First, the Biggest and the Best in NH.
Currently the Largest and Longest Continually Operating Sporting Expo in NH
Jan 11-13, 2008
Fri. 11th: 3 pm - 9 pm
Sat. 12th: 10 am - 6 pm
Sun. 13th: 10 am - 5 pm FREE PARKING!!
Adult Admission Fee: $8.00
Ages15 and under: $3.00
Ages 5 and under: Free
Rockingham Park, Rockingham Park Blvd.,Salem, (Tax FREE) NH - Exit 1 off I93
(Across the street from th