OMB Reviewing Marine Mammal Housing and Care Rule

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is reviewing a U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed rule on the housing and care of marine mammals. The OMB website for this review states:

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of certain marine mammals under the Animal Welfare Act. The present standards for these animals have been in effect since 1979 and amended in 1984. During this time, advances have been made and new information has been developed with regard to the housing and care of marine mammals. This rulemaking addresses marine mammal standards on which consensus was not reached during negotiated rulemaking conducted between September 1995 and July 1996. These actions appear necessary to ensure that the minimum standards for the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of marine mammals in captivity are based on current general, industry, and scientific knowledge and experience.”

New Article on PAM

The article is titled Effects of subsampling of passive acoustic recordings on acoustic metrics (2015). Karolin Thomisch, Olaf Boebel, Daniel P. Zitterbart, Flore Samaran, Sofie Van Parijs and Ilse Van Opzeeland. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 138(1), 267-278 The article is published open-access and can be downloaded here.

It includes the following abstract:

Marine Mammal Seismic Mitigation Workshop

The following workshop to be held at the 21st Biennial Conference of Marine Mammals in San Francisco:

Incorporating new mitigation technologies into guidelines for seismic surveys and other underwater acoustic activities:

Producing performance standards

Subject: Seismic survey guidelines, mitigating acoustic exposures, new mitigation technologies

Date/Time: Sunday, December 13, 2015; 8:30 AM ? 5:30 PM

Organizers and contact email: Andrew Wright ( and Frances Robertson

Cost: $80 (Early Bird); $90 (After September 15, 2015)

New Zealand Humpback Whales Recovering

The New Zealand Department of Conservation assesses humpback whale recovery. DOC has counted 136 humpback whales so far in 2015, eclipsing the former record of 106, which was set in 2012. Sightings this year include newborn calves, which are rare in New Zealand Waters.

Click here for more on New Zealand Humpbacks.

NOAA Sends Whaling Operations Information Collection Request to OMB for Review

The Department of Commerce has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35):

Agency: National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA);

Title: Report of Whaling Operations.

This request is for extension of a current information collection. Native Americans may conduct certain aboriginal subsistence whaling in accordance with the provisions of the International Whaling Commission.