The National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board, which is part of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, has convened a committee that will conduct a workshop and review the present scientific understanding of cumulative effects of anthropogenic stressors on marine mammals with a focus on anthropogenic sound. The committee will assess current methodologies used for evaluating cumulative effects and identify new approaches that could improve these assessments. The committee will examine theoretical and field methods used to assess the effect of anthropogenic stressors for:
- Short or infrequent exposure in the context of other known stressors (i.e. multiple stressors, both natural and anthropogenic); and
- Chronic exposure in the context of other known stressors.
The committee’s website is available here.
CRE has filed its initial comments to this committee. The executive summary of these comments reads as follows:
“CRE representatives attended this Committee’s first public meetings on June 16-17, 2015. Two aspects of these meetings surprised us.
First, several agency representatives expressed their opinion that anthropogenic sound is causing significant adverse impacts on aquatic life, or that this issue is at least highly uncertain and needs much further review. These agency representatives included oil and gas seismic among the sounds that are adversely affecting aquatic life including marine mammals.
Second, several agency representatives expressed their opinion that cumulative effects of anthropogenic stressors are not being adequately addressed by the Government’s current regulatory review. These agency representatives included oil and gas seismic among the cumulative effects that are not adequately being reviewed.
Both of these expressed opinions are inconsistent with the Government’s recent and frequent statements when actually regulating. The Government consistently concludes that oil and gas seismic has a negligible impact on aquatic life. The Government consistently rejects claims that it does not adequately assess cumulative effects.
CRE wishes to bring the Government’s regulatory statements to the Committee’s attention.”
Click here to read CRE’s entire comments.