NOAA Fisheries conducts various research activities on the biology, behavior, and ecology of the Steller sea lion. The results of this research are used to inform management decisions and enhance recovery efforts for this endangered species.

Stock Assessments

Determining the number of Steller sea lions in each population—and whether a stock is increasing or decreasing over time—helps resource managers assess the success of enacted conservation measures. Our scientists collect information and present these data in annual stock assessment reports.

Vital Rates

Our Alaska Fisheries Science Center is collaborating with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Sea Life Center to collect observations of marked Steller sea lions for ongoing studies of life history and demography. By observing known-age individuals throughout their lives, scientists are able to calculate basic information such as age-specific survival, age of first reproduction, and reproductive rate—all of which are necessary to assess population recovery.  

Additional Research

Ongoing research on abundance, movements and vital rates, and diet and foraging behavior helps us understand the role of Steller sea lions in the marine ecosystem and inform management decisions for the conservation of this important species.

Learn more about what our scientists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center are working on