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Soundings Archive

Navy Developing PAM Data in the Gulf of Alaska
On May 29, 2013, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice that it has issued a 3-year Letter of Authorization to the U.S. Navy to take marine mammals incidental to Navy training and research activities to be conducted within the Gulf of Alaska Temporary Maritime Activities Area. This LOA is issued under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

With regard to Passive Acoustic Monitoring, NMFS' Federal Register notice explains that two high-frequency acoustic monitoring packages have been deployed by Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) within the GOA TMAA. Both HARPs were bottom deployed in July 2011. One is located on the shelf (203 m) and the other is located on the slope (900 m) of the north central Gulf of Alaska. Both HARPs were field serviced in early May 2012. In addition to these two HARPs, in September 2012, a third HARP was deployed to obtain passive acoustic data along the side of the Pratt Seamount (930 m). Over 5,756 hours of passive acoustic data have been recorded. Subsequent analysis confirmed detection of the following marine mammals: blue whale, fin whale, gray whale, humpback whale, six toothed whale species, and sounds dominated by shipping noise.

Over the next three years, the Navy will continue to maintain the HARPs that are currently in the water, while analyzing and presenting results from previously recorded data.

  • Click here to read NMFS' Federal Register notice
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