Jude Island, Alaska Peninsula

Jude Island is in the Pacific Ocean off the south coast of the Alaska Peninsula and lies between Unga Island and Wosnesenski Island. It was named by Captain Tebenkov of the Imperial Russian Navy and is shown on navigation charts since 1852. The island is an important haulout for Steller sea lions that are listed under the Endangered Species Act. The Steller sea lion population in the western Gulf of Alaska declined by 75% between 1976 and 1990. The reasons for the decline are not completely understood but interestingly, from 1927 to 1972, fishermen were paid a $2 – $6 bounty for sea lions. The original purpose of the bounty was to decrease predation on commercial fish species. The numbers killed probably rose from a level of 1,500 animals per year in the late 1950s to a peak of around 4,000 animals in the early 1980s. Mortality likely decreased through the late 1980s as the sea lion population declined and public attitudes towards sea lions changed. Fishing restrictions were established around many western Gulf of Alaska islands in 2004 to protect Steller sea lions from extinction. Learn more about Steller sea lions and measures implemented in 2004 to protect them here. Click the picture below and download CoastView to explore the many islands and reefs off the Alaska Peninsula.