Alaska commercial fishing news and notes
Sadly, the southeast Dungeness fishery is being ruined by sea otter predation. We have lost many very productive areas to this rapidly expanding population of shellfish preditors. Large areas of Sumner straits, Chatham straits, Icy straits, and Frederic sound that once produced large volumes of crabs are no longer fished due to otter predation. This has concentraited the fleet into areas where otters haven't moved in, condensing the commercial fleet, which in turn affects subsistence and sport users. With a growth rate of 13% per year, this fishery will be just about done in the next ten.
They are really the locusts of the sea. Gorging on anything edible and then moving on to the next clam beds or crab grounds. The rafts of them in Kachemak Bay and PWS are getting huge. People think they are cute until they realize their favorite clamming beach is nothing but broken shells and the personal use fisheries for crab are shut down.
i have watched hundreds of otters for years work over clam beach next to my cabin. Each full grown otter requires about one bucket of clams a day. You do not have to be rocket scientist to figure why most of the clams are gone.Only political correct biologist would blame it on something else.
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