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Minutes of 2009 Steller Sea Lion Research Coordination Workshops Held in Anchorage, Alaska and Seattle, Washington

April 26, 2009

Researchers conducting field and captive studies on Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) meet at least annually to coordinate research plans and field work. In addition to updating research findings, these meetings provide a direct means to minimize potential disturbance to sea lions in the field, and maximize collaboration and sharing of samples or data. During the past several years a coordination meeting has been held in Anchorage associated with the Alaska Marine Science Symposium because most researchers conducting Steller sea lion studies in Alaska attend. This year a second meeting was held in Seattle, which focused on the eastern distinct population segment (eDPS) in Washington, Oregon and California. Because applications for new permits to conduct Steller sea lion research authorized under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) are due in February, most of the time during meetings was dedicated to permit application issues and discussions towards ensuring proposed research would directly address recovery and conservation priorities. Though these meetings primarily address U.S. research, studies conducted in Russia and Canada were also included in discussions.