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Author Topic: Marine mammals now taking more salmon than sport and commercial fishing combined  (Read 2476 times)

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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Interesting article. Think of the implications. Meanwhile, all the recovery efforts and restrictions in the world won't help west coast salmon if over-recovered sea mammals aren't dealt with. It's time to stop pretending that sea mammals are endangered.

https://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/news/features/recovering_marine_mammals_increase_pressure/index.cfm
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 02:17:52 PM by Sitka_Blacktail »
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Offline Special T

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Couldn't get it to open.

There is no Graft available when you solve a problem through a hunting season.

Cornmerants, Merganzers, sealions.. There is no danger of these guys going extinct. The Walt Disney world folks can't seem to compared what is going on.

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Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Well thatís what happens when the top of the natural food chain goes unchecked. :bash:
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Online JimmyHoffa

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I'd like a nice warm harbor seal pelt....

Offline plugger

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FAKE NEWS, Its all because of walleye. Pull all the limits, kill them all. That will bring them back. Oh wait, there are no walleye on the west side with the exception of the Columbia. My bad.

Offline Stein

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I would assume that is normally the case, how many tens of millions of fry are released every year/?

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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Couldn't get it to open.

I didn't have any trouble opening it just now Special T. But I'll copy and paste some of the text.

"Recovering populations of sea lions, harbor seals, and other marine mammals on the West Coast are eating more and more Chinook salmon, and their consumption may now exceed the combined harvest by commercial and recreational fisheries, a new study finds.

The study used models to estimate marine mammal consumption of Chinook salmon based on several assumptions about their diet and the size and weight of salmon. The researchers estimate that from 1975 to 2015, the yearly biomass of Chinook salmon consumed by sea lions, seals, and killer whales increased from 6,100 to 15,200 metric tons, and from five to 31.5 million individual salmon.

Over the same time span, they found that the annual Chinook harvest by fishermen decreased from 16,400 to 9,600 metric tons, and from 3.6 million to 2.1 million individual fish. (While marine mammal consumption includes many juvenile salmon, fishermen harvest only adults.)"
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Offline onmygame

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The title of this thread states the mammals are now taking more salmon than fishermen.

The text of the study states they MAY be taking more.

The numbers are all over the place in this study - and it merely suggests the possibility.

Offline bighorn1

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And it's not just salmon they are also targeting oversize sturgeon.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Well just you wait the greenies will side with the seals

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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The title of this thread states the mammals are now taking more salmon than fishermen.

The text of the study states they MAY be taking more.

The numbers are all over the place in this study - and it merely suggests the possibility.

I'm guessing the article says "may" because it's an estimate based on computer models. Sea mammals obviously don't report their take like humans.

But other than being an estimate, this sounds pretty definitive. I'm sure they will do more research and decide if their computer models are realistic.

"The researchers estimate that from 1975 to 2015, the yearly biomass of Chinook salmon consumed by sea lions, seals, and killer whales increased from 6,100 to 15,200 metric tons, and from five to 31.5 million individual salmon."

"Over the same time span, they found that the annual Chinook harvest by fishermen decreased from 16,400 to 9,600 metric tons, and from 3.6 million to 2.1 million individual fish. "

A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. ~ Michel de Montaigne

Offline onmygame

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The title of this thread states the mammals are now taking more salmon than fishermen.

The text of the study states they MAY be taking more.

The numbers are all over the place in this study - and it merely suggests the possibility.

I'm guessing the article says "may" because it's an estimate based on computer models. Sea mammals obviously don't report their take like humans.

But other than being an estimate, this sounds pretty definitive. I'm sure they will do more research and decide if their computer models are realistic.

"The researchers estimate that from 1975 to 2015, the yearly biomass of Chinook salmon consumed by sea lions, seals, and killer whales increased from 6,100 to 15,200 metric tons, and from five to 31.5 million individual salmon."

"Over the same time span, they found that the annual Chinook harvest by fishermen decreased from 16,400 to 9,600 metric tons, and from 3.6 million to 2.1 million individual fish. "

You do understand the difference between NOW doing something an MAY BE doing something.

There is absolutely nothing definitive about that. Period.

As I said earlier, the numbers are all over the place - and a range from between 5 million and 31.5 million fish makes the study look to be more speculation than scientific in nature.

Don't get me wrong - I applaud your efforts to enlighten those here on any developments, new, old or otherwise, and suspect your efforts are pure of heart.

What you might consider in the future though, is not editorializing these things - if your intention is to simply report them.

Let the data speak for itself, and let everyone come to their own conclusion - which may differ by the way - from yours, or someone else'.  Herd mentality is best served on four hooves.

Offline metlhead

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I don't believe that 5 million to 31.5 million was a range. The way I read it is a difference between years.

Offline onmygame

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I don't believe that 5 million to 31.5 million was a range. The way I read it is a difference between years.

I do believe you're right.

So from that timeline did we have more mammals, or more fish? Both? Was it proportionate?

Good eye though -

Offline lokidog

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I have been in the San Juans about 12 years now. 

After first arriving, the Harbor Seal population seemed to increase a lot each year. In the last three or four years, it actually seems that their levels locally are down. I've also received less calls to check out marine mammals from the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, of which I am a responder, in the last three years. Having said that, there are still an awful lot of seals.

Sea Lions, on the other hand, specifically the huge Steller Sea Lions, have shown a steady increase since I first came here.  The Steller can be 8X the weight of a Harbor Seal.  They also can catch, and eat, much larger prey.  I would guess that the Harbor Seals are the primary mammalian predator of juvenile salmon whereas the Stellars, at least adults, eat many more adult and almost adult fish. Imagine how many 8-15 pound Chinook salmon a 2400 lb animal needs to eat to survive....   :bash:

 

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