Adrianne Akmajian, Makah Tribe, Makah Fisheries Management
Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez, Western Washington University
Dietmar Schwarz, Western Washington University
Researchers will expand current knowledge about pinniped and salmonid predator-prey dynamics by analyzing the predation habits of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and Stellar sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). They will focus on an understudied time and region: winter and spring off the northwest Washington coast and western Strait of Juan de Fuca. The research team will collect data on pinniped diet including salmonid species consumed, age class, and biomass by using scat analysis, molecular techniques, and quantitative models. They will also document pinniped sex to determine if sex-biased predation exists. Understanding pinniped predation is key in salmon management, and the results will inform how pinnipeds compete for salmonids with fisheries and endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.