MMC Science Advisors Meets

The U.S. Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals will meet on Tuesday, 5 May 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Wednesday, 6 May 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Thursday, 7 May 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Commission and the Committee also will meet in executive session on Tuesday, 5 May 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. PLACE: Francis Marion Hotel, 387 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina.

NMFS Seeks Comment on Comprehensive Review of Humpback Whale Listings Under the ESA

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service seeks comment on NMFS’s comprehensive status review of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) under the Endangered Species Act. As a result of its review, NMFS proposes to divide the globally listed endangered species into 14 distinct population segments, remove the current species-level listing, and in its place list 2 DPSs as endangered and 2 DPSs as threatened. The remaining 10 DPSs are not proposed for listing based on their current statuses.

Varvara the Whale Sets Mammal Migration Record

Varvara, a western gray whale, swam from Russia to Mexico and back, for a total of nearly 14,000 miles, in 172 days.

The western gray whale now holds the record as the mammal with the longest known migration, researchers say.

Until now, the title of the longest-migrating mammal belonged to the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), which migrates up to 10,190 miles (16,400 km) round trip as it travels between its breeding grounds near the equator and the food-rich waters of the Arctic and Antarctic, according to Guinness World Records.

Click here to read a news article about Varvara’s record swim.

NMFS Seeks Comment on Proposed Transfer of IHA

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a joint request from Deepwater Wind Block Island Transmission, LLC (DWBIT) and the Narragansett Electric Company (a subsidiary of National Grid USA), doing business as National Grid (TNEC), to transfer from DWBIT to TNEC, a Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) one year Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to construction of the Block Island Transmission System (BITS), following the sale of the BITS from DWBIT to TNEC. No other changes are proposed. NMFS is inviting comments on the proposed transfer of the BITS IHA from DWBIT to TNEC. Any comments and information must be received by NMFS no later than May 13, 2015.

Canada Requests Comment on draft Recovery Strategy for the Offshore Killer Whale

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has published the draft Recovery Strategy for the Offshore Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) in Canada, and it is now undergoing regional consultations.

The draft Recovery Strategy, background information and an online comment form are available through April 27, 2015, at the following URL:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will accept feedback on the document until April 27, 2015.

Questions and requests for more information should be sent to DFO’s Species at Risk Program at +1-604-666-7907, or by e-mail at: