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Soundings Archive

Woods Hole Asks NMFS To Allow Research On More Marine Mammals
On December 2, 2012, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice that Dr. Peter Tyack, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has applied for an amendment to his current permit to conduct research on marine mammals.

This permit is issued by NMFS under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. It authorizes Dr. Tyack to conduct research on cetacean behavior, sound production, and responses to sound. NMFS' Federal Register notice explains that

    "The research methods include tagging marine mammals with an advanced digital sound recording tag that records the acoustic stimuli an animal hears and measures vocalization, behavior, and physiological parameters. Research also involves conducting sound playbacks in a carefully controlled manner and measuring animals' responses. The principal study species are beaked whales, especially Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), and large delphinids such as long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), although other small cetacean species may also be studied. The locations for the field work are the Mediterranean Sea, waters off of the mid-Atlantic United States, and Cape Cod Bay."
This permit has been already been amended twice since issuance. Dr. Tyack requests a third amendment to:
    "(1) Add one new species, Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis), for field work in waters off Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia; (2) add a new project to Dtag the following species in waters off the west coast of North America: Baird's beaked whale (Berardius bairdii), Cuvier's beaked whale, Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), killer whale (Orcinus orca) and Mesoplodont beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp); (3) add a new procedure for marking cetaceans with zinc oxide; (4) add satellite tagging to long-finned pilot whales in approaches to the Mediterranean; and (5) switch some of the playback takes initially located in the Mediterranean and eastern North Atlantic to the same stocks of long-finned and short-finned (G. macrorhynchus) pilot whales in a subset of a location that is already part of the permit in waters near Cape Hatteras."
  • Click here for further information on the requested permit amendment
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