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TASSC SEA OTTER PROJECTS > The Real-Time Community Sea Otter Monitoring Project

Program Description: The objective of this program is to monitor the occurrence of sea otters around specific local coastal communities, and document interactions between sea otters and their predators, prey, weather, and human activities. Port Lions Traditional Council and Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska implemented the project in their communities between February and December 2005. For this period of time, local observations were recorded by community members on a website bulletin board.

Posted observations have varied from the original scope of monitoring sea otter to include observing whales, eagles, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, red tides, and land mammals (bear, fox, land otter). Because of the overwhelming participation by Unalaska community members, the Qawalangin Tribe requested that their monitoring board be continued for the length of the project, until the end of March 2006.

Current/Future plans: This is a new pilot project included in the 2004 Section 119 Co-management agreement designed to monitor and document observations of sea otters and other sea life by coastal community members.

The information gathered through the online bulletin boards are currently being analyzed and a Final Report will be completed in the near future. Results of the project will be distributed to the participating Tribes as well as posted on TASSC’s website.

In April 2006, TASSC staff recreated the Port Lions and Unalaska Community Monitoring Boards on the TASSC WebBoard. Because these Boards will be hosted on TASSC's own server, this project can continue indefinitely. TASSC is hopeful that these longer term Monitoring Boards will result in an increase of knowledge and understanding of sea otter populations in the selected coastal regions.

A sea otter floating in Cordova, Alaska. Photo © TASSC.


Large sea otter raft in Prince William Sound. Photo by M & S King.


© 2005 The Alaska Sea Otter & Steller Sea Lion Commission 
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