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Alaska Fisheries Science Center Quarterly Report : October, November, December, 2002
Filetype[PDF-429.63 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Trends and Status of Harbor Seals in Washington State: 1978-99
  • Description:
    In the first half of the twentieth century, Under National Marine Fisheries Service the number of harbor seals (Phocavitulina vitulina richardsi) in Washington State was severely reduced by a state-financed population control program, which considered harbor seals to be predators in direct competition with commercial and sport fishermen. Seals began to recover after the bounty programended in 1960 and the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed in 1972. From 1978 to 1999, biologists from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML) flew aerial surveys to determine the distribution and abundance of harbor seals in Washington. We used exponential and generalized logistic models to examine population trends and status relative to maximum net productivity level (MNPL) and carrying capacity (K). Since 1978, harbor seal counts have increased three fold, and estimated abundance has increased seven-to ten fold since 1970.
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