ANCHORAGE — Sea otters have come back from the brink of extinction along Alaska’s Panhandle, but fishermen who dive for crab and other shellfish are seeking relief from their voracious appetites.
Phil Doherty of the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association said sea otters threaten the livelihood of his 200 members.
Sea otters grow as large as 100 pounds and eat the equivalent of a quarter of their weight each day.
They can decimate beds of red sea urchins and other species harvested for sale in Asia.
Patrick Lemons of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the agency can’t intervene to protect commercial fisheries until a species is at its “optimum sustainable population.”
Lemons says sea otters are still colonizing southeast Alaska. He says the population remains significantly below the number of animals the region can support without harming the environment.
- Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is continuing forward in acquiring Wrangell’s hospital. The Native nonprofit plans to build and operate a new hospital in the island town within the next three years.
- The measure, modeled on similar rules enacted in Anchorage last year, could make it easier for Alaskans to know how much they’re going to pay out of pocket for healthcare.
- The police chief recently named to the board that regulates Alaska's legal marijuana industry says the fight that has long been waged against pot in this country has been a "waste of time" and law enforcement resources.
- To beautify and dry out a wet section of your yard, Master Gardener Ed Buyarski recommends ligularia, primose, highbush cranberry, dogwood, cottonwood, and willow.