Society for Marine Mammalogy – 2017: A Marine Mammal Odyssey, eh!

Society for Marine Mammalogy – 2017: A Marine Mammal Odyssey, eh!
Sunday, October 22, 2017 – Friday, October 27, 2017 CST

The 22nd Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals will be hosted in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 22nd-27th 2017, with workshops to be held October 28th-29th. Registration and event signup are available here.

Study Claims Solar Storms Cause Whale Strandings

A new study claims that solar activity caused a mass sperm whale stranding in 2016 by disrupting earth’s magnetic field and disturbing whale navigation systems. Click here to read an article about this study.

NMFS Seeks comment on Proposed California Take Authorization

The U.S.  National Marine Fisheries has proposed an incidental harassment authorization to Venoco, LLC for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to fender pile replacement at Casitas Pier in Carpinteria, CA. Pursuant to the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue this IHA.  Comments and information must be received by NMFS no later than October 10, 2017. Click here for more details and relevant links.

Revised SAR for California Sea Otter

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published its revised stock assessment report for the southern sea otter stock in the State of California. Click here for access to this SAR and for other relevant information and links.

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 (

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