Fish Radio
June 6, 2013

AK Steller sea lion stocks

AK Steller sea lion stocks

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Sea lions increase … GM salmon breed in the wild … and a government survey on green seafood — More after this —

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There is “strong evidence” that the numbers for both western and eastern  populations of Alaska’s Steller sea lions appear, by and large, on an upward trajectory.

That’s according to a new technical memorandum by researchers at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center – it shows the results of air and ship-based sea lion surveys from the year 2000 to 2012.

While the western Aleutian stocks  still appear uncertain, the numbers increased in the eastern and western Gulf of Alaska, and the eastern Aleutians. If those counts tick up through 2015, westward Stellers could be on track for down listing from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened’ status under the Endangered Species Act.  Sea lion numbers are still on the increase in Southeast Alaska. The surveys showed at least 1,600 sea lions moving from the central gulf to Southeast during breeding season –

Studies from Canada show that genetically modified salmon can cross breed with a close relative: brown trout, and produce an even faster growing hybrid.  Researchers at Memorial University of Newfoundland said the study highlights the ecological consequences should so called Frankenfish get into the wild.

Ronald Stotish of Aqua Bounty, the company making the GMO salmon, insists the risk is ‘ ‘negligible.’  

Cut: What the application calls for is land-based, contained cultivation of all sterile female  populations  that will be reared only in FDA inspected facilities.

 The Food and Drug Administration will soon announce  if GM salmon can be sold in the US, and if it will be labeled.

 Speaking of labels —    should the government have a role in certifying sustainable seafood?  The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC), an adviser to the Secretary of Commerce, wants feedback on the benefits and limitations of third party seafood certifications, and the potential for a federal government role.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 103 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities.  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.