NAS Cumulative Effects Committee Report Scheduled for July 2016

National Academy of Sciences staff have informed us that this Committee hopes to publish its report in July, 2016. The Committee’s website explains,

“The National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board has previously convened four highly successful panels on the subject of biological effects of manmade underwater sound, which produced a progressive series of reports published in 1994, 2000, 2003, and 2005, with the latest report focusing on the potential for biologically significant effects on marine mammal populations. Sound, however, is only one of a variety of potential anthropogenic or natural stressors that marine mammals encounter, and it is often evaluated in isolation without consideration of the effects of other stressors (e. g. fishing, climate change, pollution, etc.), or consideration of how these other stressors may affect an animal’s response to sound exposure. The committee 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 review of methodologies will begin by focusing on ways to quantify exposure-related changes in the behavior, health, or body condition of individual marine mammals and assess the potential to use quantitative indicators of health or body condition to estimate changes in vital rates and, in turn, estimate the potential population-level effects.

This project is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Marine Mammal Commission.”

Click here for the Committee’s website.

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