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Polar Ecosystems Program: Ice Seal Abundance Survey
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Dyson Cruise

Field Reports from the USCG Polar Sea

polar sea
USCG Polar Sea. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.

USCG Polar Sea
6-25 April 2008
Depart: Kodiak, AK
Return: Dutch Harbor, AK 

Science Team:
Michael Cameron (NMML), Erin Moreland (NMML), Kym Yano (NMML) and Mike Apatiki (Alaska Native, Ice Seal Committee)

The Ice Seal Abundance Survey will take place on board the USCG Polar Sea icebreaker. This survey is part of an on-going effort by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory's Polar Ecosystems Program to estimate the abundance of ribbon, spotted, bearded and ringed seals in the Bering Sea. This cruise will focus on the pack ice region in the Bering Sea and will conduct surveys from the ship and from helicopter. Bering Sea sea-ice ecosystems have been changing in recent years and are predicted to change even more in the next several years. Without adequate estimates of the current abundance and distribution of these species, we will be limited in our ability to understand how these species respond to a changing ecosystem.

Our research team consists of three scientists from the National Marine Mammal Laboratory and one Alaska Native representing the Ice Seal Committee.

Check back for ongoing survey updates posted from the field!

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