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1961 Alaska Fur Seal Investigations

June 28, 1961

The Pribilof fur seal herd has twice demonstrated its resilience by recovering from excessive exploitation. About 40 years were required, in its most recent recovery, for the herd to increase from about 200, 000 to a near peak population estimated at 1,500, 000. Relatively simple management consisting of protecting females and killing a selected group of males on land was sufficient to permit herd recovery. The steady increase in the number of skins harvested, until about 1940, satisfied responsible officials that management, and consequently research, was adequate.