Humans managed shellfish and their predators for millennia, study finds

Due to their protected status, sea otter populations have rebounded across the Pacific Northwest Coast following their near elimination during the historic maritime fur trade. But the recovery of these shellfish predators and the federal laws now protecting them challenge local Indigenous communities who hold constitutionally protected rights to harvest those same shellfish but who are legally unable to hunt sea otters to protect these traditional foods. Now a new study confirms that for millennia, Indigenous people managed their relationship with shellfish and sea otters to safeguard their access to shellfish which remain important for food, social, and ceremonial uses today.
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