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Author Topic: Marine mammals now taking more salmon than sport and commercial fishing combined  (Read 2689 times)

Offline Miles

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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.

HW thrives off drama.  Donít be realistic, it ruins the excitement.  Itís the end of salmon in WA, damn it!

Offline lokidog

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#Miles or you could quote more of his comments....   :rolleyes:

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 Special T

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Regardless of the exact amount, it does show the trend that there are less fish due to increases in seals.

Are the Killer whale number increasing dramatically?

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Offline James

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Now that Harbor seal and California Sea lion populations have recovered it bothers me to no end that we can't have a hunting season for them.

Just because they look like dogs of the ocean doesn't mean they shouldn't be managed like game animals. Balancing carrying capacity of the environment, human interactions, sustainability, etc. to targeted seasons and bag limits.


We need to repeal the marine mammal protection act and start selling tags for a sustainable hunt. I would buy one.
You will never shoot a camp bull by spending all your time hunting in the woods.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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I could have swore that several weeks ago I heard that the killer whale population was decreasing and they attributed it to the decrease in the Chinook salmon their main food source.

Offline James

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I could have swore that several weeks ago I heard that the killer whale population was decreasing and they attributed it to the decrease in the Chinook salmon their main food source.

The southern resident Orcas are struggling to get enough food because they refuse to eat much of anything other than salmon.

Salmon populations in Puget Sound have been declining for quite a while, as Seal and Sealion populations have been on the rise. Add in restrictive fishing seasons and you can see how the tables have turned in terms of who catches the most fish.
You will never shoot a camp bull by spending all your time hunting in the woods.

Offline JimmyHoffa

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I could have swore that several weeks ago I heard that the killer whale population was decreasing and they attributed it to the decrease in the Chinook salmon their main food source.

The southern resident Orcas are struggling to get enough food because they refuse to eat much of anything other than salmon.

Salmon populations in Puget Sound have been declining for quite a while, as Seal and Sealion populations have been on the rise. Add in restrictive fishing seasons and you can see how the tables have turned in terms of who catches the most fish.
I wonder if the whales know something about the seals?  Like do the seals accumulate toxins at such a high level to be dangerous or did a past whale have a bad experience with a seal in the past--like watch its mom choke on a seal.  Maybe they just didn't bother eating them in the first place because the salmon used to be plentiful and they've never thought to eat the seals.  Just seems odd that a rather intelligent animal won't adapt with such a plentiful food source around.  I know that bears will take off as fast as they can when they see, hear or smell me in an open hunting unit; but if I go to the other side of the ridge inside the national park the bears feed right up next to me and will take naps under the same tree you're camping under.  A whale I assume is quite a bit smarter than the a bear.   :dunno:

Offline Special T

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I watched a program with my kids on Killer whales, and how thier diet is differ from locations. Different Pods eat everything from salmon, seals, rays, and even Great White Sharks! They have determined that they pass different hunting strategies via learning.

One could hope that they pickup on hunting techniques from the transient pods that come from elsewhere.

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Offline magnanimous_j

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I wonder if the whales know something about the seals?  Like do the seals accumulate toxins at such a high level to be dangerous

Yes, but so do the whales. All large, long-lived marine predators bio-accumulate high levels of toxins and heavy metals. It's why you can eat smelt for every meal and be just fine but eating swordfish twice a week will turn you into a thermometer.

Offline JimmyHoffa

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You think the whales actively or instinctively know this?  "Whale so and so ate a diet of seals all his life and died at 30, all the whales that eat salmon live to be 70.  I'll eat salmon only!"

Offline James

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While I can't rule it out, I think it's unlikely.

The southern resident killer whales are a small percentage of the whale population (I think around 70-80 individuals), and are the least healthy (only Orcas with ESA protection).

Most killer whales hammer pinipeds, and are doing a much better than their salmon eating brothers.

If the southern residents would start eating seals, I think you would see them rebound.
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Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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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.

Reading comprehension..... I thought they taught that in school.

That is not a range, it is the estimated increase between 1975 and 2015, a period of 30 years.
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. ~ Michel de Montaigne

Offline magnanimous_j

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You think the whales actively or instinctively know this?  "Whale so and so ate a diet of seals all his life and died at 30, all the whales that eat salmon live to be 70.  I'll eat salmon only!"

I don't know. Good question. Maybe they feel sick after eating seals.

Offline lokidog

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While I can't rule it out, I think it's unlikely.

The southern resident killer whales are a small percentage of the whale population (I think around 70-80 individuals), and are the least healthy (only Orcas with ESA protection).

Most killer whales hammer pinipeds, and are doing a much better than their salmon eating brothers.

If the southern residents would start eating seals, I think you would see them rebound.

Or even eat pink salmon.  It has been shown that they pretty much eat just Chinook.  Drives me nuts though when you see the headlines Orcas Going Extinct Due to Lack of Salmon or some such nonsense....

Offline Gobble Doc

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Squawfish.

 

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