The Marine Mammal Commission’s “Report of the Joint Marine Mammal Commission – National Marine Fisheries Service Passive Acoustic Surveying Workshop” is available. This workshop was intended to help the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service perform marine mammal stock assessments. The workshop report’s executive summary explains in part:
“The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for gathering the information needed to support its stock assessments of marine mammals. The distribution and abundance of each stock is the core of those assessments. Data to support stock assessments are traditionally gathered by conducting visual observations during shipboard and/or aerial surveys.Increasingly, however, the agency is having difficulty providing abundance estimates and other data needed for marine mammal stock assessments. These challenges have spurred NMFS to increase its investment in alternative monitoring methods that may fill some critical data gaps more effectively and efficiently than large-scale ship and aerial surveys alone.
For the last several years, research teams across NMFS have been investigating the use of advanced survey techniques to fill the stock assessment data gap or to supplement traditional survey data. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is a promising approach that can be pursued within the context of existing ship-based survey efforts or as part of an autonomous monitoring system. Research teams around the world are developing new vehicles, recorders, software and analytical techniques to study marine mammals. However, it is clear that one approach will not adequately address all NMFS science goals and research requirements for stock assessments.Technological, scientific and funding constraints are hindering the full and efficient use of passive acoustics by NMFS to inform its marine mammal stock assessments.”
Click here to read entire workshop report.