North Pacific Fur Seal Quotas

Pursuant to the regulations governing the subsistence taking of North Pacific fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) (northern fur seals), the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published the expected harvest levels from 2017-2019 on St. George and St. Paul Islands, Alaska (the Pribilof Islands) to satisfy subsistence requirements of the Alaska Natives residing on the Pribilof Islands (Pribilovians). NMFS has established the 2017–2019 harvest levels at 1,645 to 2,000 fur seals for St. Paul Island and 300 to 500 fur seals for St. George Island. Click here for more details and relevant links.

Conference on Biology of Marine Mammals

The Society for Marine Mammalogy will hold its 22nd biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals on October 22-27, 2017, at the Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Click here for more details and relevant links.

How Did whales Get So Big?

The New York Times published an article on how whales became the biggest animals on the planet.  The times article is based on a study entitled  “Independent evolution of baleen whale gigantism linked to Plio-Pleistocene ocean dynamics,” which was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Click here for the Times article, which provides links to the original article.

Research on Cultural Transmission of Humpback Whale Songs

Researchers published an article on their research into the “cultural transmission” of humpback whale songs in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It includes the following abstract:

Six-month mission to survey whales and dolphins in the Hawaiian Islands

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service posted the following article on one of NMFS’ websites:

“The Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey (HICEAS) departed for a six-month mission to survey whales, dolphins, and seabirds around the Hawaiian Archipelago. The mission will be aboard two NOAA Ships: the Oscar Elton Sette and Reuben Lasker.

This 187-day mission is a collaboration between the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. The first half of the expedition will be aboard the NOAA Ship Setteand the second half will be on the NOAA ShipLasker. Our goals are to estimate numbers of whales and dolphins in Hawaiian waters, examine their population structures, and better understand their habitats. The extensive study area spans the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and covers approximately 1.8 million square nautical miles.

4th International Conference and Exhibition on Underwater Acoustics

The 4th International Conference and Exhibition on Underwater Acoustics (UACE2017) is to be held on September 3-8, 2017, on the Greek Island of Skiathos (http://www.uaconferences.org).

The conference will contain a structured session titled:
“Acoustics of marine renewable energy developments” This session is being arranged by Philippe Blondel (University of Bath), Paul Lepper (Loughborough University), and Stephen Robinson (NPL). The session organizer invite the submission of papers to be presented at this session.

Topics of interest can include, but are not limited to:

  • Offshore wind, wave and tidal stream renewable energy developments
  • Construction noise and operational noise
  • Experimental methodologies and modelling methodologies

NMFS Seeks Comment on ESA Review of North Pacific Right Whale

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service seeks comment on NMFS’ 5-year review of the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) under the Endangered Species Act. A 5-year review must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, NMFS requests submission of any such information on these whales that has become available since the last status review in 2012.

NMFS must receive any information review no later than July 31, 2017, on order to use the information in this review.

Click here for more detail and relevant links.

NMFS Proposes to List Taiwanese Humpack Dolphin as Endangered Under ESA

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has completed a comprehensive status review under the Endangered Species Act for the Taiwanese humpack dolphin (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis) in response to a petition from Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, and WildEarth Guardians to list the species. Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, including the draft status review report (Whittaker and Young, 2017), and taking into consideration insufficient efforts being made to protect the species, NMFS has determined that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin has a high risk of extinction throughout its range and warrants listing as an endangered species.

FWS Publishes Draft Polar Bear Stock Assessments

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published draft revised marine mammal stock assessment reports for each of the two polar bear (Ursus maritimus) stocks in Alaska: The Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear stock and the Chukchi/Bering Seas polar bear stock. These two draft stock assessment reports are available for public review and comment. Click here for more details and relevant links.

4th International Conference and Exhibition on Underwater Acoustics

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following notice on its website:

“The 4th International Conference and Exhibition on Underwater Acoustics (UACE2017) is to be held during the days 3rd through 8th of September 2017 on the Greek Island of Skiathos (http://www.uaconferences.org). The conference will contain a structured session titled:
“Acoustics of marine renewable energy developments”

This session is being arranged by Philippe Blondel (University of Bath), Paul Lepper (Loughborough University), and Stephen Robinson (NPL).

We are writing to invite you and your organisation to present a paper at this session.
Topics of interest can include, but are not limited to:

  • Offshore wind, wave and tidal stream renewable energy developments