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Little change in polar bear numbers in the Chukchi Sea

Polar bears, like other large predators, are hard to track and count, and available data is often fragmentary and difficult to piece together. Now, a new model provides estimates for key parameters for polar bears in the Chukchi Sea off north-western Alaska, by combining available data from telemetry, marking and recapturing, and counts. The model estimates that 83% of females give birth every year, that litter sizes are 2.11 per year, and that survival is about 90% for both males and females. 

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Fish processors pay higher prices after individual quotas

Individual fishing quotas have been introduced to the Pacific whiting fishery off the US west coast, involving allocating rights to fish quota to both harvesters (80%) and processors (20%) and letting individuals decide when and how to to catch and land fish. A unique dataset of prices and costs allowed researchers to examine the impact of this change on land-based processors. 

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Strong individual rights emerge naturally in gaming experiments

Many natural resources, such as grazing lands, forests, and fisheries, can be managed either by lots of people communally (common property), by top-down regulation, or by individual rights. A new analysis shows experimentally that individual rights emerge as the preferred choice when people are given freedom to choose among different clubs that each decide how to manage part of the resource. 

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Fantastic beasts and where to find them

New and weird species are being discovered all the time, and the latest is the Narungga Frogfish (Histiophryne narungga), which has just been described. The name honors the Narungga tribe of indigenous Australians who traditionally inhabited the lands in which it was found. The new species comes in a variety of dotted forms, occurs in southern and western Australia, and is a member of the order Lophiiformes. 

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The three pillars of fisheries sustainability

Fisheries management is often seen as a balancing act that aims for economic development, environmental protection and social development. Previous work shows that overfishing or other forms of poor ecological health, reduces economic profits; and it has long been assumed that pursuit of profits leads to poor social outcomes for fishing communities. But now a new analysis of 121 fisheries worldwide suggests this second assumption may not hold, based on scores of 68 different ecological, economic, and social metrics for each fishery. 

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Centennial Story 48: Nathan Taylor (Post Doc, 2006-2008) and Erin McClelland (MS 2004; PhD, 2008)

The SAFS alumni at our wedding

“Having recently moved, we sometimes find ourselves asking ‘how did we end up living in Madrid?’ The answer lies in part in our professional and personal experiences gained at SAFS.”
“While at SAFS, I studied salmon hatchery/wild interactions and growth through the lens of quantitative genetics with Kerry Naish”, says Erin. “I was also a teaching assistant for the Conservation Genetics class for several years, which had a considerable impact on my continued interest in science education.”
Nathan was at SAFS as a post-doctoral fellow from 2006 to 2008. 

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Centennial Story 47: Pam (MS, 1994; PhD, 2006) and Greg (PhD, 1990) Jensen

Pam on shoreline

Pam and Greg came to SAFS via two very different routes that converged on crabs. Pam grew up in Nevada and was a biology major at the University of Nevada Reno, with little idea of what she wanted to study in graduate school. Then, in an upper-level invertebrate biology class, the instructor had live marine invertebrates flown in. She was hooked and started looking for schools with marine programs. 

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Centennial Story 45: Eveline (Evi) Emmenegger (MS, 1994) and Blake Feist (MS, 1991; PhD, 1999)

Blake and Evi pose during a hike in Colorado in 1994, back when Blake had hair

Evi, the first child of Swiss emigrants, was born and raised in Alaska, where fish and fishing were a way of life. She spent her summers commercial fishing for salmon with her family on the Susitna Flats (between the Susitna and Little Susitna Rivers), just west of Anchorage, using set gillnets, living in a cabin precariously perched atop stilts above the intertidal flats, which served as her family’s “field station.” Evi also worked in a salmon roe cannery, where she was particularly adept at layering the top “show row” of eggs. 

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