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2024 Vessel-based Studies of Ice-associated Seals

February 12, 2024

Research brief for 2024 Vessel-based Studies of Ice-associated Seals

What is the research objective?

Researchers will capture ribbon and spotted seals on the sea ice where they are hauled out using hand-held nets. Biologists will collect morphometrics, blood and other tissue samples from the seals, and attach satellite-linked data recorders (SDRs) before releasing them.

Where is the research being conducted?

The research will be based off of a chartered vessel and will operate at the southern edge of the marginal ice zone in the Alaskan waters of the Bering Sea. The location of the sea ice varies year-to-year, making it difficult to predict where the research will be conducted, but in most years operations are located west of St. Matthew Island.

Who is conducting the research?

Researchers from NOAA Fisheries’ Alaska Fisheries Science Center, The Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies, SeaWorld Orlando.
As with previous expeditions, we would like to collaborate with coastal communities of the Bering Sea to identify an Alaska Native subsistence hunter that can partner with, and join us on, the expedition.
This project is included in the annual Alaska Ice Seal Research Plan which describes research priorities for ice-associated seals in Alaska, and was developed by the Alaska Native Ice Seal Committee, Co-management Working group.


Last updated by Alaska Fisheries Science Center on 02/13/2024