NMFS Seeks Comment on Navy IHA for Mariana Islands

The  National Marine Fisheries Service proposes to issue authorization to the U.S. Navy to take marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Mariana Islands Training and Testing Study Area from July 2015 through July 2020. This IHA would be issued pursuant to NMFS’ authority under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. NMFS will consider any comments on this proposed IHA which are received by NMFS no later than October 2, 2013.

Click here to read NMFS’ Federal Register notice of this proposed IHA.

NMFS Proposes Navy Pier Maintenance IHA

NMFS has requested public comment on a proposed Navy authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities as part of a pier maintenance project. NMFS proposes to grant this IHA pursuant to NMFS authority under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Public comments on this proposal must be received by NMFS no later than October 15, 2013.  The Navy has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (Pier 6 Pile Replacement Naval Base Kitsap) in accordance with the NationalEnvironmental Policy Act.  This EIS and other relevant documents are posted here.

Click here to read NMFS’ Federal Register notice for this proposed IHA.

US officials praise Sound & Marine Life JIP leadership

US Marine Mammal Commission Executive Director Timothy Regan has thanked the Joint Industry Programme (JIP) on E&P sound and marine life for “…its leadership in addressing research priorities…” In a letter dated 8th June, he further noted that the JIP had “… contributed significantly towards research to understand the sources, effects and mitigation of underwater sound…” and strongly encouraged the JIP to enter a third phase of collaborative research efforts.

Sound and Marine Life JIP Chair Paul Shone of Chevron responded to the letter by saying  “… to receive such a letter signed by an Executive Director of a [US] federal body is a big complement to everyone who has worked on this project over the past 8 years.”

PAM Survey Request

Peter Dobbins, Ultra Electronics Irene Voellmy, University of Bristol, are currently conducting a survey to evaluate current and future requirements for Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) devices for research (e.g. aquatic animals, acoustic environments), conservation and  anthropogenic noise emission monitoring purposes. This survey is conducted as part of an ongoing study investigating the current state of the art in PAM systems. This survey particularly investigates whether and where users of PAM systems locate gaps in available devices and how further developments of the techniques could meet these requirements.

Users of PAM systems can take part in this survey and complete the questionnaire on:   http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J355HDV .

New Study of Brazilian Humpback Whale Strandings

The paper “Humpback whales washed ashore in southeastern Brazil from 1981 to 2011: stranding patterns and microbial pathogens survey,” Biologia, 68(5): 992-999, Moura J.M., et al., is now available at http://link.springer.com/article/10.2478%2Fs11756-013-0237-8. This paper discusses the stranding of 58 humpback whales between 1981 and 2011 along the coast of the Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Three cases of entanglement were found, two of these involving calves with less than eight meters of body length. Stranding events were more frequent during winter and spring. No statistical differences were found between age categories, but 33% were classified as “dependent calf” (< 8 m length). Males stranded more often than females. Only one whale out of 16 specimens that had the stomach contents examined presented food remains, but comprising only two cephalopod beaks of the squid Doryteuthis sanpaulensis. Bacteriological survey of Vibrionaceae and Aeromonadaceae agents in three live stranded whales on the Brazilian coast indicated evidence of animal impairment that resulted or were associated with the cause of death and stranding event.

We Apologize for the Inconvenience Resulting from the Outage of Our Website

         The CRE website was attacked with the result that had we not pulled down the website we would have risked loosing content.

         We appreciate your many emails and we are  working to continue to install state of the art  early warning systems.  We must , however, add that we have only had two major outages in more than a decade of operation.

        We are particularly concerned that some of you could not use the website for the preparation of regulatory filings.

NOAA Developing Cetacean Sound Maps

A group of scientists from NOAA, Cornell University, and other organizations are working on a mapping project called CETSOUND, which is short for cetaceans and sound. The project has two components. The first is a series of maps showing where and when marine mammals occur in U.S. waters—their migration routes, nursing grounds, and so on. The second is a series of maps showing the estimated noise levels that those areas are exposed to throughout the year.

By overlaying these maps, scientists and decision-makers hope to identify the hotspots for noise that affects marine mammals, so they can better manage the problem.