Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is That Sea Otter Stealing Your Lunch -- Or Making It?

Date:
February 21, 2008
Source:
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
Summary:
Hunted to near extinction, sea otters are making a steady comeback along the Pacific coast. Their reintroduction, however, is expected to reduce the numbers of several key species of commercially valuable shellfish dramatically, such as sea urchins and geoducks.

California sea otter. Hunted to near extinction, sea otters are making a steady comeback along the Pacific coast.
Credit: iStockphoto/Nancy Nehring

Hunted to near extinction, sea otters are making a steady comeback along the Pacific coast. Their reintroduction, however, is expected to reduce the numbers of several key species of commercially valuable shellfish dramatically, such as sea urchins and geoducks.

Despite of this potential conflict, Kai Chan of the University of British Columbia believes there is a way to ensure Canadian First Nations fishers can benefit from the otters' presence.

"Efforts to restore wildlife populations should not be played out in a win-lose framework that pits conservation against the economic interests of the local people," observes Chan, who spoke at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Conference in Boston (February 14 to 18).

While none of these shellfish were major sources of human food before the sea otters disappeared, they have become important to First Nations fishers over the last few hundred years. Given their fears about losing a big part of their livelihood, some of these fishers have even announced plans to hunt the rebounding otter populations.

Chan, however, believes that the impact of the otters will be multifaceted, for example with economic opportunities for local people in ecotourism.

The interaction between environmental and economic factors is made more complex by additional indirect ecological effects. For example, sea otters promote kelp forest recovery (by eating the urchins that destroy kelp) and thus foster a much richer ecosystem. This should greatly boost alternative fisheries for species such as lingcod, rockfish and herring.

Chan is an NSERC-funded researcher who holds the Canada Research Chair in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. "Is That Sea Otter Stealing Your Lunch -- Or Making It?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080216095720.htm>.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. (2008, February 21). Is That Sea Otter Stealing Your Lunch -- Or Making It?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080216095720.htm
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. "Is That Sea Otter Stealing Your Lunch -- Or Making It?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080216095720.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins