NOAA Monitoring Arctic Marine Mammals

In July 2013, NOAA scientists began their annual Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals project, thanks to funding by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Started in 1979, ASAMM is the longest-running and most extensive ongoing effort by federal agencies to monitor marine mammals in the Arctic.

Scientists will fly transects over the northeastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas to survey whales and other marine mammals in areas of potential oil and natural gas exploration, development, and production activities. The goal of the surveys is to document the distribution and relative abundance of bowhead, gray, right, fin, and beluga whales, as well as other marine mammals.