Experts: Southeast, Alaska population has grown rapidly
Posted: February 22, 2013 - 2:08pm
Photographs of frolicking sea otters projected onto a screen greeted students, staff and members of the public coming into Egan Library Thursday night for the “Sea Otter Symposium” hosted by the University of Alaska Southeast......
........... Wildlife biologist Verena Gill, of the USFWS, said an aerial survey of Southeast Alaska that she conducted over the past three years suggests a population of about 25,000 sea otters.
“We went from 400 animals to about 25,000 animals,” Gill said. “I mean, that’s … just a wonderful story.”........
.................The symposium came a day after state Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, offered his own proposal for sea otter management: put a price on the animals’ furry heads................................“Now they’re a population size that is devastating the fisheries and migrating north, off of west Prince of Wales (Island), up on Kuiu Island, there around Baranof (Island),” Stedman said. “And they’re devastating the shellfish beds and impacting the Dungeness fishermen, geoducks, all that. So we need to have some population control somehow. I’m not looking for eradication of them or anything, but we've got to control the population and the spread.”
Stedman said it was a coincidence that the bill introduction and symposium were so close together.... http://juneauempire.com/state/2013-02-22/uas-hosts-sea-otter-symposium