We are pleased to announce that we tagged two young spotted seals near the mouth of the Colville River, near Nuiqsut, Alaska, on 16 August. These seals were tagged as part of a collaborative effort between Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Arctic Marine Mammal Program and North Slope Borough, Department of Wildlife Management staff and assisted by Richard Tukle, a subsistence hunter in Nuiqsut. We deployed a CTD and flipper (SPOT) tag on both seals. The flipper tags were provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Mammal Laboratory.
During the last 10 days we have received locations for 1 bearded, 2 ringed, and 7 spotted seals. The spotted seals tagged on 16 August (SS17-07-M, purple circle; and SS17-08-F, yellow circle) are still near the mouth of the Colville River. The first spotted seal we tagged on the Colville River (SS17-06-F, light green circle) has moved west and south, into the Chukchi Sea, and is now located near Icy Cape. Both ringed seals are still in the northern Chukchi Sea, generally near the marginal ice zone. The three spotted seals tagged near Scammon Bay in July are still within 100 miles of Scammon Bay. Sea ice data are courtesy of the U.S. National Ice Center, dated 21 August (https://earthdata.nasa.gov/earth-observation-data/near-real-time/rapid-response/modis-subsets).