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April, 24th 2017
Why It's Important:
With changing climate and increased human activities in the ocean, marine mammals may sometimes have a hard time finding enough food. For example, when it was first recognized that Steller sea lion populations had declined in Alaska, the coincidence of timing between the increase in the amount of pollock fishing in the Bering Sea and the sea lion decline led many to blame the fishing industry even though there was little direct evidence to support that claim. To
determine whether a causal link exists, it would help to be able to determine exactly how much fish sea lions are catching each day and how hard they have to work to find those fish. For this we need new biotelemetry tools that we can apply along with other approaches to measure what, where and how much marine mammals eat.