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2013 Will Set Sea Otter Harvest Record
This year will set a record for the biggest harvest of sea otters from Alaska coastal communities.
PETERSBURG- This year will set a record for the biggest harvest of sea otters from Alaska coastal communities.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Brad Benter reports that this year's harvest so far is at least 1,380 sea otters, but that number is expected to rise since most harvesting takes place in the fall.
That tops the 1,281 sea otters harvested in both 2011 and 2012.
Sea otters can only be hunted by Alaska Natives under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. These numbers do not reflect illegal or unreported kills by non-Natives.
The sea otter population has been growing in both southeast and southcentral Alaska. The service estimates the sea otter population in 2011 was about 26,000 in Southeast, up from about 11,000 in 2002.