US Navy

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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 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
Title: Jacksonville Vessel Surveys and Tagging

Location: Jacksonville Shallow Water Training Range (JSWTR)

Objectives: Monitor species composition and distribution on JSWTR, support M3R species verifications,

Methods: Vessel visual surveys, biopsy sampling, satellite-linked tags, photo-ID

Performing Organizations: Duke University, HDR Inc.

Timeline: 2016-

Funding: FY16 - $100K, FY17 - $105K, FY18 - $360K, FY19 - $60k, FY21 - $125K

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

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

Evaluate trends in distribution and abundance of populations that are regularly exposed to Navy training and testing activities

Continuing

Title: Haul-Out Counts and Photo-Identification of Pinnipeds in Narragansett Bay, RI

Location: Narragansett Bay

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

Methods: Visual surveys, photo ID

Performing Organizations: NUWC Newport

Timeline: 2014 to 2017

Funding: Funding: FY15 $45K; FY16 $102K

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

On hold

Surveys and tagging to resume in 2021
Title: North Atlantic Right Whale Monitoring

Location: Mid-Atlantic and Southeast calving groounds

Objectives: Assess behavior of right whales in coastal waters of the Southeast calving grounds,including rates of travel of individuals, dive behavior, and rates of sound production; Assess seasonal distribution in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Methods: Observational methods combined with short term (ca. 24 hour) non-invasive suction cup attached multi-sensor acoustic recording tags with Fastloc GPS; Autonomous underwater gliders equipped with passive acoustic monitoring capabilities.

Performing Organizations: Duke University, Syracuse University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Timeline: 2014-2019

Funding: FY13 - $335K, FY14 - $390K, FY15 - $505k, FY16 - $390k, FY17 $278K, FY18 - $268k

Evaluate trends in distribution and abundance of populations that may exposed to Navy training and testing activities

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

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

Continuing

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