The SSC reviewed the status of marine mammals for which there are conservation concerns or unusual or unexpected results, through a number of presentations from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center Marine Mammal Laboratory, NMFS Alaska Region, and the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island. The presentations covered a wide variety of topics, species, and regions and several themes related to fisheries management including populations trends, integrated research projects and bioenergetics, changes in the Bering Sea, and Co-management and local knowledge and traditional knowledge (LKTK). This was the first time that the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island presented to the SSC as a Co-manager with NMFS for northern fur seals.
The SSC supports continuing to receive annual updates and new findings that are not captured through other Council pathways. The SSC also recommended that abundance information for marine mammals be included in the Ecosystem Status Reports as an indicator of the nearshore system. The SSC also supported continuing investigations to understand shifts in marine mammal migratory patterns north and south, but also including potential changes in east-west migratory patterns. The SSC also supported presentations from other species’ Co-management organizations along with the northern fur seal Co-management presentation.
Staff contact is Steve MacLean.