- The Biology of sea ducks is different
than dabblers. Sea duck have low annual production or recruitment rates
to breeding age, variable annual rates of non breeding by adults, and
deferred sexual maturity. Population stability of Sea ducks is dependent
on high adult survival and a few successful years of production
- Population thresholds of sea ducks are
very sensitive to oil or chemical contamination, arctic ice events, late
spring, disease, and harsh environmental conditions causing unexpected
- The highly variable and extremely
dynamic and unpredictable northern marine ecosystem favors a life
history strategy of minimized annual investment in reproduction and
- Each cumulative stress factor
precipitating the decline of Sea ducks needs to methodically be weeded
out one by one to minimize and subdue effects in the complexity of the
- These birds are sustained and supported
by the same food chains as fish, and marine mammals. It would be
beneficial for the Joint Boards to look at these complexities.
- The North Pacific Regime shift or the
Pacific Decadal Oscillation appears to be affecting the entire food
a. Declined Crab and shrimp stocks
b. Declines in whales, sea lions, seals,
c. Seal blubber is thinner and renders darker.
- We have neither the time, energy, or
money to acquire specific data needed to determine threshold points.
- Declining trends must ignite the
Precautionary Principal to minimize additive mortality. We have control
over bag and season limits
- In Europe sea ducks are considered
seabirds so they receive protection and resources afforded to seabirds.
- sea ducks in America are the stepchild
who have fallen through the cracks of protection or funding initiatives.
- The present declining species of primary
concern such as oldsquaw and harlequin must not overshadow management
precaution of other susceptible species such as scoter, goldeneye, King
and Common Eider which can easily slip over the sustainability