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Marine Species Monitoring

Atlantic Region: Current Projects


 


Atlantic Fleet Training & Testing Monitoring Projects

 

The table below summarizes marine species monitoring projets being conducted in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico in support of Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Marine Mammal Protection Act requirements (50 CFR Part 218).  Reports and data from these projects will be made available on the individual project profile pages and the Reading Room as they become available.

Project titles link directly to individual project profile pages with additional details and access to data and reports.


*Intermediate Scientific Objectives are established in coordination with NMFS through the Strategic Planning Process to help prioritize monitoring investments

Project Description Intermediate Scientific Objective* Status
Title: Mid-Atlantic Continental Shelf Break Cetacean Study

Location: Offshore Mid-Atlantic (VACAPES OPAREA)

Objectives: Assess occurrence, habitat use, and baseline behavior of cetaceans in continental shelf break region of the VACAPES OPAREA

Methods: Visual surveys, focal follow observational methods, photo ID, biopsy sampling, satellite tagging

Performing Organizations: HDR Inc

Timeline: 2016-2019

Funding: FY16 - $645k

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals where Navy training and testing activities occur

Establish the baseline behavior (foraging, dive patterns, etc.) of marine mammals where Navy training and testing activities occur

Year 2 field work in progress

Transition from offshore component of humpack whale monitoring project
Title: Mid-Atlantic Humpback Whale Monitoring

Location: Nearshore Mid-Atlantic

Objectives: Assess ocurrence, habitat use, and baseline behavior of humpback whales in the mid-Atlantic region

Methods: Focal follow observational methods, photo ID, biopsy sampling, satellite tagging

Performing Organizations: HDR Inc.

Timeline: 2015-2018

Funding: FY14 - $320k, FY15 - $260K, FY16 - $370K, FY17 - $325k

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals where Navy training and testing activities occur

Establish the baseline behavior (foraging, dive patterns, etc.) of marine mammals where Navy training and testing activities occur

Year 4 field work winter 2017/18

Satelite tagging component added 2015/16 field season
Title: Mid-Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog

Location: Northwest Atlantic

Objectives: Establish a centralized collaborative humpback whale photo-id catalog for the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions to support management and environmental planning

Methods: Photo identification

Performing Organizations: Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation, Duke University

Timeline: 2017-2019

Funding: FY16 - $106k, FY17 - $74K

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals and sea turtles where Navy training and testing activities occur.

New start 2016

Title: Atlantic Behavioral Response Study

Location: Cape Hatteras study area

Objectives: Assess behavioral response of beaked and pilot whales to mid-frequency tactical sonar

Methods: Controlled exposure experiments, DTAGs, satellite tags

Performing Organizations: Southall Environmental Associates, Duke University, Cascadia Research Collective, CREEM - University of St. Andrews

Timeline: 2017-2020

Funding: FY16 - $35k, FY17 - $1.6M

Evaluate behavioral responses of marine mammals exposed to Navy training and testing activities

New start 2017

Field sessions planned for May and Sept 2017
Title: Lower Chesapeake Bay Sea Turtle Tagging and Tracking

Location: Lower Chesapeake Bay (Hampton Roads)

Objectives: Assess ocurrence and behavior of loggerhead, green, and Kemp's ridley sea turtles in the Hampton Roads region of Chesapeake Bay and coastal Atlantic Ocean

Methods: Satellite, GPS, and acoustic telemetry tags

Performing Organizations: Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Foundation, NAVFAC Atlantic

Timeline: 2013 through 2017

Funding: FY13 - $180K, FY14 - $195K, FY15 - $70k, FY16 - $183k

Estimate the density of marine mammals and sea turtles in Navy range complexes and in specific training areas.

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals and sea turtles where Navy training and testing activities occur.

Field work - summers 2013-16

Technical progress reports available - 2013-2016
Title: Haul-Out Counts and Photo-Identification of Pinnipeds in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

Location: Chesapeake Bay

Objectives: Document seasonal occurrence, habitat use, and haul-out patterns of seals

Methods: Visual surveys, photo ID

Performing Organizations: NAVFAC Atlantic

Timeline: 2014 to 2017

Funding: Funding: FY15 $52K; FY16 $57K

Estimate the density of marine mammals and sea turtles in Navy range complexes and in specific training areas

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals and sea turtles where Navy training and testing activities occur

Evaluate trends in distribution and abundance of populations that are regularly exposed to sonar and underwater explosives

New start winter 2014-15

2015-16 annual progress report available
Title: Acoustic Monitoring and Evaluation of Tursiops Response to MINEX Training activities

Location: Hampton Roads coastal Atlantic Ocean, W-50 MINEX training range

Objectives: Assess ocurrence of Tursiops in the vicinity of the W-50 MINEX range. Assess vocal response of Tursiops to underwater explosions

Methods: passive acoustic monitoring

Performing Organizations: Oceanwide Science Institute

Timeline: 2012 through 2016

Funding: FY12 - $230K, FY13 - $230K, FY14 - $230, FY15 - $135k

Establish the baseline vocalization behavior of marine mammals where Navy training and testing activities occur

Develop analytic methods to evaluate behavioral responses based on passive acoustic monitoring techniques

Evaluate behavioral responses by marine mammals exposed to Navy training and testing activities

Field work complete

Final analysis complete
Title: Occurrence, Ecology, and Behavior of Deep-diving Odontocetes

Location: Cape Hatteras

Objectives: Establish behavioral baseline and foraging ecology. Assess behavioral response to acoustic stimuli and Navy training activities

Methods: Visual surveys, biopsy sampling, DTAGs, satellite tags

Performing Organizations: Duke University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Cascadia Research Collective

Timeline: 2013-2017

Funding: FY13 - $250k, FY14 - $510k, FY15 - $520k, FY16 - $420k

Determine what populations of marine mammals are exposed to Navy training and testing activities

Establish the baseline behavior (foraging, dive patterns, etc.) of marine mammals where Navy training and testing activities occur

Evaluate behavioral responses by marine mammals exposed to Navy training and testing activities

Field work ongoing

Technical progress reports available - 2013-2016
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