About the Sea Duck Joint Venture
What is the Sea Duck Joint Venture?
In the early 1990s it became apparent that several populations of sea ducks were declining in numbers for unknown reasons. An increased awareness of sea duck issues followed, and the Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV) was proposed as a mechanism to address information gaps needed to improve management and conservation of North American sea ducks. When the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) Plan Committee endorsed the SDJV in 1999, even basic biological information was lacking for most sea duck species. The SDJV partnership set out to improve our understanding of sea duck ecology and conservation by identifying the scale at which sea ducks should be considered for management, assessing distribution and abundance during different life-cycle periods, identifying population limiting factors, characterizing important habitats, and determining sustainability of harvest.
Since its inception, accomplishments of the SDJV have included identifying migratory routes and important habitats for several species, delineating populations, prioritizing monitoring needs, conducting experimental surveys and developing new survey methods, and creating the Sea Duck Key Habitat Sites Atlas to help guide sea duck habitat conservation in North America.
Although much has been learned, many knowledge gaps remain including the status of some populations and the relative importance of potential limiting factors.vFilling some information gaps on the basic biology of sea ducks is still necessary, but the SDJV’s focus is evolving to address data needs explicitly linked to conservation and management decisions, including the human dimensions aspect of conservation.
The current emphasis is to obtain information that will help ensure that harvest is sustainable and inform habitat conservation actions. The SDJV’s highest priority species are Common Eider, King Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Harlequin Duck, and Barrow’s Goldeneye due to lack of baseline data, historical or current population declines, and concerns about harvest potential or habitat limitations.
The SDJV is guided by a with a 10-year planning scale, and a Work Plan that’s updated and revised annually.
Sustainable populations of North American sea ducks are maintained throughout their ranges.
The SDJV promotes the conservation of all North American sea ducks through partnerships by providing greater knowledge and understanding for effective population and habitat conservation and management.
The SDJV works with partners to generate and disseminate knowledge that informs management decisions, habitat protection initiatives, and sea duck conservation in North America.
The SDJV increases awareness of sea ducks and encourages engagement of management and scientific communities, industry, and the public in sea duck conservation through effective communications and outreach.
Sea Duck Joint Venture Organizational Structure
Sea Duck Joint Venture Management Board, Continental Technical Team, and Coordinators [160 KB PDF]