Whales, dolphins, and seals all follow the same evolutionary patterns

Physics.org posted an article by Jon Tennant with this title. It includes the following paragraph:

“But did you know that all marine mammals descended from common land-dwelling ancestors? It might be difficult to see that by looking at modern species alone, but that’s where the fossil record comes in handy. An accurate picture of their evolution is crucial for helping us to understand the structure of increasingly threatened aquatic ecosystems.

NMFS Publishes Regulations Governing Subsistence Taking of Northern Fur Seals on the Pribilof Islands

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published regulations governing the subsistence taking of North Pacific fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) for the annual fur seal subsistence harvests on St. George and St. Paul Islands (the Pribilof Islands) in Alaska for 2014-2016 and proposes annual estimates of northern fur seal subsistence harvest on the Pribilof Islands for 2017-2019. The proposed number of fur seals expected to satisfy the subsistence requirements of Alaska Natives residing on the Pribilof Islands during the years 2017-2019 is 300 to 500 for St. George and 1,645 to 2,000 for St. Paul. These harvest levels are unchanged from the levels established for 2014-2016. NMFS solicits public comments on the proposed subsistence harvest needs for 2017-2019. Comments must be received by NMFS no later than 30 days after this notice is published in the Federal Register. Click here for more detail and relevant links.

Arctic Council Meeting

On 11 May 2017, the Foreign Ministers of the eight Arctic States will convene, together with delegations from the Council’s indigenous Permanent Participant organizations, for the tenth biennial Arctic Council Ministerial meeting. The event will be held in the John A. Carlson Community Activity Center of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The Chairmanship of the Arctic Council rotates every two years. At the last Ministerial meeting, held in Iqaluit, Nunavut, April 24, 2015, the United States took over from Canada. At the meeting in Fairbanks, the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council will pass from the United States to Finland.

Abstract Deadline Extended to May 31 – 4th International Symposium on Acoustic Communication by Animals

The Acoustical Society of America has published the following notice:

“The Acoustical Society of America has partnered with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to bring together a diverse community of scientists, engineers, teachers and students to the “Fourth International Symposium on Acoustic Communication by Animals”, to be held July 18-21, 2017 on the grounds of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.

This four-day symposium is designed to address contemporary topics in animal acoustic communication across a wide range of taxa, including arthropods, lizards and amphibians, as well as birds, fish and terrestrial and marine mammals. The emphasis will be to share ideas, data, and methodologies in the area of animal bioacoustics and communication and to promote networking opportunities in this ever-growing discipline….

Article on Atlantic Oil & Gas Exploration

The International Association of Geophysical contractors republished the following article entitled “Debate Simmers Over Atlantic Oil, Gas Exploration”:

“Mount Pleasant, South Carolina – On this dock, where captains and first mates are freshening their boats with coats of white paint and rigging up new shrimp trawling gear to take to springtime Atlantic waters, the debate over drilling for oil in East Coast waters divides colleagues and, occasionally, families.

Much of Capt. Wayne Magwood’s pro-offshore drilling stance comes down to a pocketbook issue. Burning through 1,000 gallons of diesel a week in his boat Winds of Fortune is manageable with low diesel costs, but past high fuel prices have made the economics of shrimping nearly impossible.

New Study on Protecting Marine Mammals from Commercial Fishing

CBC News Nova Scotia recently published following article about protecting marine mammals from commercial fishing imports into the United States:

“Canadian researchers say they have a solution to a new U.S. government requirement that its seafood imports be caught in a way that minimizes harm to marine mammals.

A recently released paper recommends summertime closures in two fishing grounds off Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to protect one of the most threatened marine mammals in Atlantic Canadian waters — the North Atlantic right whale.

The idea is to get fishing gear and lines out of the water when endangered whales are in the area.

Interior Publishes Annual Taking Limit for the Alaska-Chukotka Polar Bear Population

The U.S. Department of the Interior published the following Federal Register notice:

“On November 18, 2016, the U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Commission (Commission), established under the Agreement Between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Conservation and Management of the Alaska-Chukotka Polar Bear Population (2000 Agreement), unanimously agreed to maintain the annual taking limit adopted in 2010 for the Alaska Chukotka polar bear population. In 2010, the Commission established an annual taking limit of the number of bears that may be removed from this population as a result of human activities, such as bears taken for subsistence purposes and in defense of human life. This annual taking limit, which corresponds with the annual sustainable harvest level for this population, is 58 polar bears per year, of which no more than one-third will be females. Under the 2000 Agreement, the annual taking limit is to be shared equally between the United States of America and the Russian Federation.

IAGC Article on Arctic Energy Development

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors published the following article, “Science-Based Decision-Making’ Means Supporting Arctic Energy Development,” on the IAGC website:

“Last fall, we made the case for continued Arctic oil and gas development in these pages, explaining that the body of scientific knowledge about the Arctic environment more than justifies why exploration and production should continue.

Unfortunately at the end of last year, the Obama Administration issued a ban on new Arctic leases in the energy-rich portions of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Shortly before that decision, the former President also signed an executive order withholding 40,300 square miles of the Bering Sea off Alaska from oil and gas leasing, in order to advance “science-based decision-making.”

Researchers eavesdropping on whale calls in Cook Strait believe they’ve detected a number of elusive species very little is known about

The NIWA, New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, posted the following article about some of its research activities:

“The sounds of whales and dolphins rarely seen in New Zealand waters have been recorded by a NIWA scientist in a pioneering underwater sound project.

Last year NIWA marine ecologist Dr Kim Goetz led a programme to deploy seven acoustic moorings in Cook Strait that recorded the sounds of marine mammals for six months until they were retrieved in December.

“More than half the world’s whale and dolphin species are found in New Zealand waters, yet very little is known about their migration paths, their behaviour and where they go,” Dr Goetz says.

ECS 2017 Workshop on Communicating Marine Mammal Science to the General Public

The European Cetacean Society published the following notice about one of its Workshops:

“Feel free to participate in our workshop: ‘5 th workshop on
Communicating Marine Mammal Science to the general public’
which will be held on Sunday, April 30th 2017 form 9:00-17:00 in
Middelfart, Denmark, a day before the begin of the 31st Conference of
the European Cetacean Society.

This workshop is organized by Volker Smit, NGO MEER, Berlin, Germany
(smit@m-e-e-r.de <mailto:smit@m-e-e-r.de>) and Dr. Luigi Bundone,
Institution: Archipelagos ambiente e sviluppo, Italia
(luigibundone@tiscali.it <mailto:luigibundone@tiscali.it>).The
participation fee is 25 euros to be paid in cash on site.

To register, please e-mail Volker Smit: smit@m-e-e-r.de