NOAA 2004-R941
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Grant Supports Study of Sea Lion-Prey Relationship

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded a $940,858 grant to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks to fund their Gulf Apex Predator-Prey Study. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The grant will help support the documentation of feeding relationships between Steller sea lions, their prey, competitors and predators in the Kodiak region. The results from this research will help determine if the cause of continued sea lion declines is due to commercial fishing and competition from local fisheries. In addition to sea lion concerns, the studies will also assess the degree of dietary overlap among Kodiak’s similar predators, and explore processes that drive the population of their prey within an ever-changing marine environment.

“The research of the Steller sea lion predator-prey relationships funded by this NOAA grant will increase our understanding of the marine environment near Kodiak Island and throughout the region,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA and the Bush Administration are working to improve the understanding of our environment and to strengthen local and regional initiatives like the Gulf Apex Predator-Prey Study.”

Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA’s goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.

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