Our Marine Advisory agent Gay Sheffield spoke about marine mammal strandings last week in Anchorage during a meeting of the National Marine Fisheries Service Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Among the strandings she discussed was that of Aku, a two-week-old walrus calf that was found stranded on a gold barge offshore of Nome in June. He was transported to the Alaska SeaLife Center where he received constant care until he was healthy and old enough to make a new home at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, in November 2017.
Guest blogger Jenna Malek attended the meeting and caught up with Gay. Read Jenna’s post in her blog, The Curious Walrus.
Jenna is a Co-Management Fellow with the Marine Mammal Commission. She earned her PhD in ecology in 2015 from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. Jenna joined the Commission in 2016 as a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. During that time, she was part of the Commission’s Alaska Communications Team and wrote a grant proposal for funding through the North Pacific Research Board to conduct a review of marine mammal co-management in Alaska. Her proposal was funded in July 2017 and Jenna returned to the Commission January 2018. For the duration of the project she is based in Anchorage at the Alaska Sea Grant office. She is collaborating with Alaska Native communities and federal agencies to review co-management of marine mammal subsistence species.