A Possible Management Plan to Prevent the Decline of Steller Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Alaskan Waters

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor

Keith Ronald

Second Advisor

Curtis Burney


The Steller sea lion [SSL] population has been declining for about the last 30 years due to many factors, such as competition with fisheries, the nutritional stress hypothesis, a climatic regime shift, subsistence hunting by the Inuit, contaminants, increased predation by the orca, and finally the failure of management.

In order to preserve and hopefully allow the SSL population to increase in numbers a problem-oriented plan, which occurs when a problem is fully understood and a variety of solutions are presented, should be followed. The plan will suggest the formation of a SSL protection committee to oversee the plan. Suggestions will also be made on catch limits for fisheries, increasing no-trawl zones, take limits for hunting with the possibility of a moratorium, and the possibility of eco-tourism.

Ideas to increase funding will also be presented along with methods to promote education and enforcement. A timeline of 10 years will be associated with the plan to ensure its effectiveness.

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