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Whale depredation of longline fisheries in Alaska

Trainee Achievements

Whale depredation of longline fisheries in Alaska

IGERT trainee Megan Peterson is successfully integrating natural and social sciences in her dissertation examining whale depredation of longline fisheries in Alaska. She is quantifying the impact killer whale depredation has on the catch rates of six groundfish species in western Alaska and interviewing Alaskan fishermen to investigate their perceptions of whale depredation and to evaluate the indirect costs of depredation. Peterson’s work brings together collaborators from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, NOAA, the North Gulf Oceanic Society, fishing vessel owner associations, and SEASWAP (the Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project). In addition, Peterson has been successful in securing an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant and a Rasmussen fellowship to support her work, complementing the IGERT fellowship.