We are pleased to report that Merlin Henry of Koyuk, Alaska, tagged three bearded seals on the Koyuk River between 26 and 30 September 2014. The Koyuk River is located approximately 140 miles east of Nome, Alaska. Merlin is a local seal hunter, reindeer herder, and IRA president. Congratulations and thanks to Merlin as this would not have been possible without his knowledge of how bearded seals use the local river systems.
Over the last fourteen days we have received transmissions from 3 ringed and 4 bearded seals. Two ringed seals have moved into Eschscholts Bay in Kotzebue Sound, the same bay they were tagged in during June 2014. The third is still holding near Barrow Canyon. The three bearded seals tagged on the Koyuk River are currently located in Norton Sound.
In addition to the movement tracks of these seals we mapped the 200 m isobath (black line) and the OCS Leases (orange blocks). Sea ice data are courtesy of the U.S. National Ice Center, dated 6 October (http://www.natice.noaa.gov/index.html). Seals were tagged in Kotzebue Sound on 18 and 19 June in collaboration with the Native Village of Kotzebue and on the Koyuk River on 26 and 30 September. Funding for tagging has been provided by BOEM.