NMFS Issues Take Authorization for West Coast

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued an incidental harassment authorization to the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Study of Coastal Oceans at the University of California Santa Cruz to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during rocky intertidal monitoring surveys along the California and Oregon coasts. NMFS issued this IHA under Marine Mammal Protection Act. This Authorization is effective from February 21, 2017 through February 20, 2018. Click here for the Federal Register notice of this IHA, which contains more information and relevant links.

NMFS Issues MMPA IHA to FWS for Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice that NMFS has issued has issued an incidental harassment authorization to the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during seabird and shorebird monitoring and other research activities in the Eastern MA NWR Complex. This Authorization is effective from April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018. It is issued pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Click here for the Federal Register notice of this action which contains more details and relevant links.


The following press release was recently published:

“The 2nd edition of Humpback whales world congress (HWWC) will be held from July 3rd to July 7th, 2017, in Reunion Island, Indian Ocean.

Please reminder that the deadline for abstract submission is the 6th of March 2017. Click here.

Specific research topics, fields of study, and methodological approaches have been left open intentionally to encourage interdisciplinary exchange. Some of them are: basic and applied research, collaboration programs, management, conservation and implementation of sustainable development policy, economic and social involvement.

The keynote speakers are:

Abstracts Due for SEAMANNS

The organizers of SEAMANNS distributed the following email:

“Just a gentle reminder that the 2017 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) will take place April 7-9, 2016 in Beaufort, NC and will be co-hosted by the Duke Marine Lab and the North Carolina Maritime Museum.  For meeting details, information on abstract submission, and to register, please visit here.

Please note that abstracts must be submitted online by 5:00 PM EST this Friday, February 17th.  Early Registration will end on March 11th – we encourage everyone to register early.

Satellites Help Save the Whales ?

NBC News republished the following article by Kacey Demer, which is entitled “How Satellites Might help save the Whales” and which was originally published on Live Science:

“First drones, and now satellites are allowing scientists to spy on whales — for research, that is.

Though they are massive animals, whale populations are difficult to monitor, according to researchers. Drones have been used to capture footage of whales, and now scientists are turning to even higher-flying help. Researchers in Australia are using satellite imagery to track local humpback whale populations, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC).

Vaquita Preservation Organization Seeks Books

VIVA Vaquita Recently distributed the following message:


VIVA Vaquita! (a non-profit organization) is seeking marine mammal books, reprints, monographs, and journals.  Literature can be donated or we can purchase sets of books, reprints, and journals. We compile and then make the literature available to colleagues working on marine mammals, getting it into hands where it will be actively used, and in the process help to raise funds for research and conservation work on the vaquita (Phocoena sinus), the World’s most endangered marine mammal species. Donations are tax-deductible, and we maybe able to arrange pick-up of large libraries (and possibly even to provide some payment for more valuable items). We are interested in issues of Marine Mammal Science only from vol. 27 (2011)onwards.

NMFS Publishes 2017 Bowhead Whale Quota

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published NMFS’ aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that NMFS has assigned to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, and the limitations on the use of the quota deriving from regulations of the International Whaling Commission. For 2017, the quota is 75 bowhead whales struck. This quota and other applicable limitations govern the harvest of bowhead whales by members of the AEWC.

Click here to read more and for relevant links.

NMFS Seeks comments on Petition to Establish Southern Resident Killer Whales Protection Zone in San Juan Islands

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a petition for rulemaking to establish a whale protection zone in the San Juan Islands, Washington, to support recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales. NMFS requests comments on the petition and will consider all comments and available information when determining whether to accept the petition and proceed with the suggested rulemaking. The closing date for comments on the petition is April 13, 2017. Click here for more details.

FWS Publishes Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the availability of FWS’ Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan. The polar bear is listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and is also considered ‘‘depleted’’ under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Polar Bear Plan identifies objective, measurable ESA recovery criteria, site-specific recovery actions, as well as time and cost estimates. It also serves as an MMPA conservation plan. Click here for more information about this Polar Bear Plan.

NMFS’ Recovery Plan for Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has announced the adoption and availability of an Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for the Cook Inlet beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) distinct population segment (DPS) found in Cook Inlet, AK. The Recovery Plan is available on the NMFS Alaska Region website here.