Wednesday November 2, 2022

Alaska Public Media

The Indigenous People’s Council for Marine Mammals met in Anchorage this month for a two-day meeting that included federal scientists from agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

IPCoMM members said that the federal agencies aren’t doing enough to manage marine mammal populations and subsistence resources across the state.

“It’s 100% a lack of funding and a lack of staffing on the government’s part, said Chugach Regional Resource Commission Marine Mammal Manager Raven Cunningham.

Cunningham said that stock assessments for subsistence resources and population surveys on sea otters haven’t happened in over a decade. In her region, which includes Lower Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound, a once-threatened sea otter population is now thriving. That’s having big impacts on the shellfish people gather for food.

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