This isn’t really new news, we’ve known the seals and sea lions are taking lots of salmon, but it does add more science to the already known problem of not enough salmon and too many predators.
Seals and sea lions are taking a major bite out of the threatened chinook salmon population in Puget Sound, and the competition for food could be having repercussions for endangered Southern Resident killer whales, according to a new study. Seals and sea lions are eating about 1.4 million pounds of Puget Sound chinook each year — about nine times more than they were eating in 1970, according to the report [ Estimates of Chinook salmon consumption in Washington State inland waters by four marine mammal predators from 1970 – 2015 http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/cjfas-2016-0203?src=recsys&journalCode=cjfas&#.WIoSpIV3rEO ], published online this month in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)