by Ed Schoenfeld
December 22, 2011 4:04 pm
Will Ware goes subsistence fishing in Sumner Strait, south of Petersburg. But the administrator of the town’s tribal government says he finds fewer shellfish there these days.
“When you get onto the reefs you’re seeing that it’s just shell-laden all over the rocks and beaches. There’s gumboot shells everywhere, shrimp shells. It’s almost like a devastating sight to see on some of these islands and rocks,” he says.
The shells are leftovers from sea otters’ meals. A few decades ago, the federally protected marine mammals were hard to find. But that’s no longer the case.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies have been surveying Southeast
A sea otter floats on its back. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo.
waters to determine the extent of otter growth.
Wildlife Biologist Verena Gill just released a new population estimate: 20,000.
“The reason it is increasing, both in distribution and in number, is because... http://www.ktoonews.org/2011/12/22/sea-otter-numbers-4-percent-up-in-northern-southeast/