Report of the Alaska Region and Alaska Fisheries Science Center Northern Fur Seal Tagging and Census Workshop : 6-9 September 2005, Seattle, Washington
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Report of the Alaska Region and Alaska Fisheries Science Center Northern Fur Seal Tagging and Census Workshop : 6-9 September 2005, Seattle, Washington

Filetype[PDF-798.69 KB]


  • Description:
    "The northern fur seal is listed as 'depleted' in U.S. waters under The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a conservation plan is required for all depleted species to assist management and research agencies in recovering the population. In 1993, the Northern Fur Seal Conservation Plan was adopted and has guided northern fur seal research over the past decade. In 2005, the conservation plan was reviewed and updated to reflect the current trends in the population and new biological information. One recommendation of the revised conservation plan was to gather current demographic information on northern fur seal populations. This workshop was convened to outline an approach for a robust marking program that can provide the demographic data necessary to build population models that are needed to assist management in the recovery process for the northern fur seal population. The working group evaluated permanent marking methods including various tagging options, tattoos, hot branding, freeze branding, radio frequency identification tags (RFIDs), natural markings, and new technologies to uniquely identify northern fur seals. The workshop participants also discussed study designs and statistical methods to obtain and analyze demographic data. In addition, the working group examined the current methods of estimating abundance based on direct counts and shear-sampling mark-recapture of pups and discussed alternative methods of population assessment. The working group agreed that a combination of longitudinal and cross-sectional permanent marking of live animals would provide a complete dataset of population parameters for demographic models. The working group determined that in the near-term, external flipper tags are the most feasible method for marking large numbers of northern fur seals. However, tag loss remains a significant problem with the current tags available and a new tag needs to be developed. The working group acknowledged that the future of unique identification of fur seals lies in the development of electronic tags and remote data recorders. This technology is not yet applicable to the unique habitat, life history, distribution, and environmental conditions of pinniped species. The working group discussed the need to encourage manufacturers to develop an electronic tagging system that would be applicable to the needs of the fur seal and sea lion research community. The working group concluded that the current census methods of shear-sampling and direct counts of pups were sufficient but alternative methods for estimating abundance (e.g., medium format photography or infra-red imaging) may be useful in combination with the current methods to refine estimates."--Executive summary.
  • Content Notes:
    by S.R. Melin, R.R. Ream, and T.K. Zeppelin.

    "October 2006."

    Also available online in PDF format via AFSC and the NOAA Central Library.

    Includes bibliographical references.

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    Public Domain
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