Sea otters still face many challenges, ranging from shark attacks and disease to lack of food and pollution, on the way to recovering their once thriving populations. That’s what a report released this week by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service confirmed, based on information from 2006 to 2010. The report — which shows that Central Coast otter populations actually declined an average of 0.3 percent in each of those years but that the small San Nicolas Island grew 2.5 percent annually— did not include data from 2011, when weather made data collection difficult, or the spring count of 2012, which is not available yet. Read it yourself at fws.gov/ventura, and send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.