Sea lion populations have been quickly declining during the past three decades. Nearly 80% of the world’s Steller sea lions have disappeared. Understanding how and why this has happened is a central goal of the UBC Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMRU). Your support will help MMRU learn more about sea lions and other marine mammals, including northern fur seals. This information will help us improve the health of both these beautiful animals and the oceans we share with them.
Since 2003, MMRU has operated the Open Water Research Laboratory in Port Moody, a floating facility designed to study free-swimming seals and sea lions. This facility enables the development and testing of new techniques and technologies for studying marine mammals in the wild, and allows researchers to gather valuable physiological data about the animals that they can’t get in the field. This research is combined with field studies contrasting healthy sea lion populations in Southeast Alaska, British Columbia and Oregon with declining populations in the Gulf of Alaska as well as hands-on investigation of declining northern fur seal populations on the Pribilof Islands. Learn more about their day-to-day operations on MMRU's Facebook page.
MMRU’s research could one day shape fisheries policies and practices, allow us to better understand marine ecosystems, and help preserve our ocean’s biodiversity. Your gift will help these scientists learn more about sea lions and other marine mammals.