OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Autonomous Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Marine Mammals in the Pacific

Detecting marine mammals in the pelagic Pacific

OSU in collaboration with the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington (APL-UW) is contracted to survey Navy-relevant sites in the Hawaiian Range Complex (HRC), the Gulf of Alaska (GoA) and the Mariana Island Range Complex (MIRC) for marine mammals using acoustically equipped gliders.

Project description:

Hawaii Range Complex

The U.S. Navy developed a marine mammal monitoring plan for the Hawaii Range Complex (HRC) as required under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. Following this plan, monitoring and reporting will provide knowledge of protected species distribution and potential effects from Navy training. Data generated via implementation of this monitoring plan will be integrated into the Navy-wide Integrated Comprehensive Monitoring Program (ICMP).

Monitoring questions:

  • What species of beaked whales and other odontocetes are detected and what is their spatial distribution in the HRC?
  • What is the spatial distribution and occurrence of baleen whale detections in the HRC?

Gulf of Alaska (GOA):

The U.S. Navy developed a marine mammal monitoring plan for the Gulf of Alaska Temporary Maritime Activities Area (GoA TMAA) as required under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The GoA TMAA is approximately 560 km in length and 280 km wide (area = 144,560 km2), and is located south of Prince William Sound and east of Kodiak. This area encompasses various marine habitats, both shelf and pelagic, and supports many of the 26 species of marine mammals known to reside in or seasonally frequent the GoA. Although marine mammals are found here year‐round, the greatest numbers of animals are in the GoA during the spring, summer and fall months.

Monitoring questions:

  • What is the spatial distribution of ESA listed cetaceans (blue, fin, humpback, North Pacific right whale, sei, sperm whales), and beaked whales detected in GoA?

Mariana Island Range Complex

The U.S. Navy has conducted marine species monitoring and reporting for the Mariana Islands Range Complex (MIRC) required in accordance with the Letter of Authorization under the MMPA and ITS authorization under the ESA. Following the current 2012‐15 MIRC monitoring plan, monitoring and reporting will provide knowledge of protected species distribution and the potential effects from Navy training. Data generated via implementation of this monitoring plan will be integrated into the ICMP.

Monitoring questions:

  • What is the spatial distribution and seasonal occurrence of baleen whales in offshore areas of the MIRC adjacent to Guam, Saipan, Tinian, and Rota
  • What species of beaked whales and other odontocetes occur in offshore areas of MIRC adjacent to Guam, Saipan, Tinian, and Rota?
Project members: 
Principle Investigator
Graduate Student
Location: 

Mariana Trench

Guam
Latitude: 17.750000
Longitude: 142.500000

Funding Source

 

Co-PIs: David Mellinger (OSU & NOAA/PMEL), Jim Luby (APL-UW)

Tags

Ecology