A whale sized recovery for the humpback whale

This week we saw some really uplifting news in the whale world. The US government announced that they were removing almost all of the world’s humpback whale populations from the endangered species list. To be precise NOAA Fisheries stated in a press release on September 6th that humpback whales in 9 of 14 newly identified distinct populations have recovered enough that they don’t warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act.

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NOAA Releases Draft Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap

 

This month we were really excited to see the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) release their draft Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap for public comment. This is the first coordinated initiative by the US regulator to address issues of man-made noise in the oceans. And, SMRU Consulting is already collaborating on this novel effort as NOAA are currently assessing our (interim) Population Consequences of Disturbance (PCOD) framework to assess impacts of noise on Cook Inlet Beluga (more on this later!).

Check out the Ocean Noise Strategy efforts and the recently released Roadmap here. Public comments on the draft Roadmap are welcomed by NOAA until July 1, 2016.

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Subsampling PAM – Dangers of duty cycles

Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) can be a great tool to monitor marine mammal presence over wide areas and long time periods. However, there can be large costs associated with retrieving and replacing the recorders – for example, those deployed offshore or in dynamic environments may require significant time, specialist vessels and personnel in order to retrieve and replace the unit which can be costly to do regularly. Often, in order to get around this issue, there is a trade-off between the deployment duration and the sampling regime.

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