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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Foraging Ecology of the California Sea Lion: Diet, Diving Behavior, Foraging Locations, and Predation Impacts on Fisheries Resources


Recent revisions of the federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, vigorous implementation of the Endangered Species Act, and the enactment of the California Marine Life Management Act of 1998 have placed a new emphasis on restoring the health of coastal ecosystems and fisheries resources. Increases in many formerly depleted pinniped populations, coupled with declining fish resources, have intensified competition between humans and pinnipeds (Harvey 1987, Mate and Harvey 1987, Weise and Harvey 2005, MMC 2002). California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) compete with almost all commercial and recreational fisheries along the California coast by directly interacting with fisheries causing entanglement and damage to fishing gear and loss of catch (Beeson and Hanan 1996, NMFS 1997, Weise and Harvey 2005), and indirectly by competing for fisheries resources (Harvey 1987, Mate and Harvey 1987, Olesiuk 1993, Weise 2000).

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