Conservation Plan (Draft) for the Eastern Pacific Stock of Northern Fur Seal, Callorhinus Ursinus (2023)
Revision of the 2007 conservation plan for northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) to incorporate new information obtained since the original plan was completed.
This draft revised Conservation Plan reviews and assesses the known and possible factors influencing northern fur seals in Alaska. Natural factors influencing the population include trauma and starvation, disease and parasitism, predation, and environmental change. Human-related factors that may influence the population include direct and indirect effects of commercial fishing, marine debris, vessel activity, aircraft traffic, construction, pollution (or environmental contaminants), seafood processing discharges, and oil and gas activities.
As discussed in the 2007 Conservation Plan, four objectives are proposed to conserve and restore the Eastern Pacific stock of northern fur seals to its optimum sustainable population (OSP) level, consistent with the 1988 amendments to the MMPA:
- Identify and reduce human caused mortality of the Eastern Pacific stock of northern fur seals.
- Assess and avoid or mitigate adverse effects of human related activities on or near the Pribilof Islands and other habitat essential to the survival and recovery of the Eastern Pacific stock of northern fur seals.
- Continue and, as necessary, expand research and management programs to monitor trends and detect natural or human-related causes of change in the northern fur seal stock and habitats essential to its survival and recovery.
- Coordinate and assess the implementation of the Conservation Plan.
The primary goal of this draft revised Conservation Plan is to facilitate recovery of the Eastern Pacific stock of northern fur seals until the population abundance levels above OSP. NOAA Fisheries recognizes that as of the writing of this plan, the stock is declining, and that stopping this decline is of the utmost importance. Meeting the goal of recovery to OSP and declassification from depleted status may take many decades.