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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 Autonomous Passive Acoustic Monitoring

Location: Mid-Atlantic

Objectives: Monitor large whale occurrence in the mid-Atlantic

Methods: Autonomous real time passive acoustic monitoring

Performing Organizations: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, NAVFAC Atlantic

Timeline: 2019-ongoing

Funding: Funding: FY18- $211k, FY19- $213k, FY20- $357k, FY21- $139k

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

Ongoing

Title: Behavioral Response of Humpback Whales to Vessel Traffic

Location: Chesapeake Bay and Nearshore Mid-Atlantic

Objectives: Understand the behavioral response of humpback whales to approaching vessels in the shipping channels at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

Methods: Dtagging, satellite tagging, and focal follow observational methods

Performing Organizations: Duke University, HDR Inc.

Timeline: 2019-2023

Funding: FY19 - $95k, FY20 - $75k, FY21 - $80k, FY22 - $80k

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

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

Ongoing

Title: Baseline Monitoring for Marine Mammals in the East Coast Range Complexes (passive acoustics)

Location: Atlantic OPAREAs

Objectives: Assess occurrence, density, and vocal activity of marine mammals and sea turtles in key areas of Navy range complexes

Methods: Passive acoustic monitoring

Performing Organizations: Duke University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Timeline: 2007-2022

Funding: $5M+

Determine what species and populations of marine mammals and sea turtles are present in Navy range complexes

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

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

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

Deployments discontinued in 2022

Analyses ongoing
Title: Analysis of Acoustic Ecology of North Atlantic Shelf Break Cetaceans and Effects of Anthropogenic Noise Impacts

Location: Northwest Atlantic

Objectives: Assess the acoustic niche of marine mammal species and anthropogenic contributors to disturbance

Methods: Passive acoustic monitoring

Performing Organizations: NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Timeline: 2018-2023

Funding: FY18 - $143K, FY19 - $145K, FY20 - $145K, FY21 - $150K, FY22 - $150K

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

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

Ongoing

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, University of St. Andrews, Bridger Associates, Calvin College, HDR Inc.

Timeline: 2017-2023

Funding: FY16 - $35k, FY17 - $1.6M, FY18 - $1.4M, FY19 - 1.4M, FY20 - $1.3M, FY21 - $1.25M, FY22 - $1.29M

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

Continuing

Title: Mid-Atlantic Offshore Cetacean Study

Location: Offshore Mid-Atlantic shelf and shelf break (VACAPES OPAREA)

Objectives: Assess occurrence, habitat use, and baseline behavior of cetaceans in the offshore and 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: 2016-2023

Funding: FY16 - $645k, FY18 - $322k, FY19 - $357k, FY20 - $371k, FY21 - $430k, FY22 - $530k

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

Continuing

Primary focus shifted to sperm whale feeding ecology focus in 2020
Title: Occurrence of Rice's Whale in the Gulf of Mexico

Location: Northern Gulf of Mexico

Objectives: Assess occurrence and distribution of Rice's whale throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico,

Methods: Passive Acoustic Monitoring

Performing Organizations: NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center

Timeline: 2019-2023

Funding: FY18 - $78K, FY19 - $395K, FY20 - $250K, FY22 - $59K

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

Data collection and analysis ongoing

Title: Atlantic Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (AMAPPS)

Location: Northwest Atlantic (Maine to Florida)

Objectives:

Methods: Visual surveys, passive acoustic monitoring, tagging

Performing Organizations: NOAA Fisheries Northeast and Southeast Fishery Science Centers

Timeline: 2010-present

Funding: $250k annually

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

Ongoing

AMAPS I (2010-2014), AMAPPS II (2015-2019), AMAPPS III (2020-2024
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