Alaska Sea Grant

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Sea Lions of the World: Conservation and Research in the 21st Century

22nd Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium

Anchorage, Alaska, USA
September 30–October 3, 2004

Contact: Sherri Pristash,

Call for Papers

Abstract Submission
About the Wakefield Series
Organizing Committee

Symposium Background

Changes in the worldwide abundance of sea lions is of growing concern to fisheries and conservation groups, because fisheries are feared to threaten sea lions, or because sea lions are feared to threaten fisheries. Over the past few decades, major changes have been noted in the abundance of all five species of sea lions around the world. In the North Pacific, the Steller sea lion has been declared endangered in parts of its range and is considered threatened with extinction in others. This is in contrast to the rapid increase in California sea lions in Mexico and California. Elsewhere, the Japanese subspecies of the California sea lion is probably extinct and the Galapagos subspecies is in low numbers. Numbers of New Zealand sea lions and Australian sea lions are also extremely low, with major declines recently reported in Australia. Little is known about the South American sea lion.

This symposium will bring the world community of sea lion researchers and policy-makers together to share their experiences and knowledge. Interspecies comparisons can shed light on why some populations might decline while others increase. Insights might also be gained on whether trends in the abundance of sea lions are related to fishing activities through food dependencies or more directly through control or conservation measures. A better understanding of the biology of sea lions is urgently needed. This symposium will significantly contribute to the understanding of fluctuating sea lion populations, especially as they compare to the Steller sea lion, by synthesizing current knowledge and forging new directions.

Symposium Goal

The goal of the symposium is to bring together scientists and resource managers to address knowledge of world sea lion populations as a point of comparison with the Steller sea lion, and to identify research needs for the future.

We seek contributions from scientists and managers working on Steller sea lions and other sea lion populations worldwide to share insights that may enhance the opportunity for meaningful changes in management policies. We encourage discussions of topics related to the complex marine ecosystems involving sea lions and fisheries, including, but not limited to:

  • Life history—life cycles, behavior, seasonal movements.
  • Physiological ecology—morphometrics (developmental molt, dentition, parasites, diseases, etc.).
  • Adaptations (aquatic, hormonal/endocrine changes, etc.).
  • Foraging ecology—predator-prey dynamics, energetics.
  • Population ecology—distribution, numbers, exploitation.
  • Population dynamics—life tables, density dependence, longevity.
  • Population genetics.
  • Conservation and management—current concerns, future needs and directions.

On Sunday, the last day of the symposium, we will break into roundtable groups to consider similarities and differences between the five species of sea lions. Discussion topics will include foraging ecology, life history strategies, fisheries influences, population dynamics, and others.

Abstract Submission

To contribute an oral or poster presentation, submit an abstract no later than April 1, 2004. Please use the online submission form. If you cannot access the form, submit the required information via email to If you cannot submit electronically, submit hard copy and computer disk to:

Symposium Coordinator
Alaska Sea Grant College Program
PO Box 755040
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5040 USA

Voice: 907-474-6701; Fax: 907-474-6285

Abstracts must include:

  1. Type of presentation preferred (oral or poster).
  2. Topic area from the above list, or suggest a topic.
  3. Title, in upper/lower case type, using as few words as possible.
  4. Author(s) names as they should appear in the abstract book; full affiliation and mailing address; and phone, fax, and email address. Use superscript style if submitting by email or hard copy.
  5. Name of presenter and contact person if different from first author.
  6. Text of abstract in 300 words or fewer; do not include any headings, tables, figures, or references.


Alaska Sea Grant will publish a peer-reviewed proceedings, including full papers based on oral and poster presentations, soon after the symposium.


All meeting sessions will be held at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown Hotel. Guest rooms will be available at a special rate for meeting participants. Information on registration and costs for the symposium and accommodations will be forwarded to all contributors in summer 2004, and will be posted on this Web site.

About the Lowell Wakefield Symposium Series and Endowment

The Alaska Sea Grant College Program has been sponsoring and coordinating the Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium series since 1982. These meetings are a forum for information exchange in biology, management, economics, and processing of various fish species and complexes, as well as an opportunity for scientists from high-latitude countries to meet informally and discuss their work.

Lowell Wakefield was the founder of the Alaska king crab industry. He recognized two major ingredients necessary for the king crab fishery to survive—ensuring that a quality product be made available to the consumer, and that a viable fishery can be maintained only through sound management practices based on the best scientific data available. Lowell Wakefield and Wakefield Seafoods played important roles in the development and implementation of quality control legislation, in the preparation of fishing regulations for Alaska waters, and in drafting international agreements for the high seas. Toward the end of his life, Lowell Wakefield joined the faculty of the University of Alaska as an adjunct professor of fisheries, where he influenced the early directions of the university's Sea Grant Program. The symposium series is named in honor of Lowell Wakefield and his many contributions to Alaska's fisheries.

In 2000, Frankie Wakefield, Lowell's wife, made a gift to the University of Alaska Foundation to establish an endowment to continue this series. For more information or to contribute to the endowment, please contact

Organizing Committee

  • Shannon Atkinson
    Alaska SeaLife Center
  • Michael Castellini
    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Institute of Marine Science
  • Doug DeMaster
    NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
  • Lowell Fritz
    NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
  • Tom Gelatt
    NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
  • Sherri Pristash
    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Sea Grant
  • Andrew Trites
    University of British Columbia
  • Bill Wilson
    North Pacific Fishery Management Council
  • Kate Wynne
    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Marine Advisory Program


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