MMC Seeks Research Proposals for North Pacific Right Whales

The U.S. Marine Mammal Commission seeks research proposals that will improve knowledge of the distribution and movements of the eastern population of North Pacific right whales, and/or contribute to the understanding of human-based risk factors that can be mitigated.

The National Marine Fisheries Service’s recovery plan for North Pacific right whales identified assessment of the current distribution as the highest research priority for this species. Proposals submitted to the MMC’s RFP should address this research priority by addressing one or both of the following research foci:

  • Providing new evidence of occurrence outside the Bering Sea, especially evidence of migratory or other movements and the location(s) of wintering/calving grounds or important feeding grounds south of the Aleutians or in the Gulf of Alaska.
  • Contributing to the understanding of human-based risk factors that can be mitigated, especially when and where the whales are likely at high risk of ship strike (e.g., crossing the northern Great Circle shipping route and in Unimak Pass) or entanglement (e.g., southeastern Bering Sea).

Applicants may propose to analyze data from, or conduct research in, any part of the North Pacific as long as there is clear relevance to at least one of the above research foci. Applicants may propose field-research, analysis of existing data sets, modeling, technological developments, processes to leverage larger funding amounts from other organizations, or any other approach that has the potential to meet the research goal and foci defined above.

Grant proposals will be accepted with requests for funding from the Commission in any amount (inclusive of overhead costs) up to the total amount available, $100,000. Detailed information regarding this funding opportunity, proposal requirements, and eligibility can be found here.

The deadline for submitting proposals to this RFP is MONDAY, 29 JUNE 2015.

For questions about the purpose or intent, research goal and foci, review criteria, or the suitability of a project to the RFP, please feel free to contact Dennis Heinemann, Director of Science, by email ( or telephone (301-504-0087). For questions regarding proposal requirements or submission guidelines, please contact Dee Allen, Research Program Officer, by email ( or telephone (301-504-0087).

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