News: April 2018
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Canada just published their analysis of 13 population surveys conducted during the summers from 1971 to 2013.
They found that juveniles and adults (non-pups) increased at an average rate of 3.8% per year and pups increased at an average rate of 4.8% per year over that 42-year period. This resulted in a 4-fold increase in population size since protections were first instituted in 1970.
During the 2013 season, they estimate that approximately 39,000 Steller sea lions were present during the breeding season (over summer). Winter counts were higher, with an estimated 49,500 Stellers present in British Columbia waters, suggesting sea lions from Washington and Oregon may be displaced to Canada by California sea lions migrating north during the winter months, and some animals from Southeast Alaska moving southward during the winter months.
A more complete summary can be found at: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Publications/ResDocs-DocRech/2018/2018_006-eng.html
The report: Olesiuk, P.F. 2018. Recent trends in Abundance of Steller Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in British Columbia. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2018/006. v + 67 p., can be downloaded here.
The National Marine Fisheries Service just announced that they have embarked upon a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program. Public comments can be submitted through June 1, 2018 electronically through: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0036 or via mail at the address provided in the FR notice.
Three web-based scoping meetings will be held and one in-person scoping meeting will be held in Silver Spring Maryland.
1. May 1, 2018, 3 p.m. EDT—Webinar (Registration Required)
2. May 15, 2018, 3:30 p.m. EDT—Webinar (Registration Required)
3. May 18, 2018, 3 p.m. EDT—(valid ID compliant with the REAL ID Act required)—NOAA Science Center, 1301 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD
4. May 21, 2018, 10:30 a.m. EDT—Webinar (Registration Required)
The Federal Register notice may be found here.