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Steller Sea Lion Field Research Coordination 2008 Meeting Report

April 26, 2008

Researchers permitted to conduct studies on Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Alaska have historically coordinated their study plans to minimize disturbance to sea lions and increase collaboration to better achieve research objectives. Although there are many formal and informal opportunities for researchers to discuss research plans, formal coordination occurs at least once per year. The importance of this coordination was highlighted in 2000 when participation became a required condition of all subsequently issued Steller sea lion permits for research in Alaska. The Steller Sea Lion Recovery Plan (NMFS 2008) also includes as recovery action (Plan Task 3.5.1) “coordinate research efforts to reduce potential for unnecessary or duplicative research-related take.” A summary of coordination meetings held during 2000-2007 can be found in NMML (2007).