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

International Marine Conservation Congress

The Society for Marine Mammology published the following notice:

“5th International Marine Conservation Congress

24 June – 29 June 2018

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia (KCH)

“Making Marine Science Matter”

The Society for Conservation Biology’s Marine Section (SCB Marine) invites you to attend the 5th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC5), which will be held June 24 – 29 2018 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia (Airport code: KCH).

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.