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Atlantic Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species

Goal: To conduct a combined visual and acoustic marine mammal abundance line transect survey in the waters of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the southeast coast of the continental United States.

Time Period: 2013

Our Role: To provide a team and the equipment to conduct towed hydrophone array operations from the NOAA research vessel Gordon Gunter.

Bio-Waves, Inc. research staff participated in a combined visual and acoustic marine mammal abundance line transect survey off the southeast coast of the United States. This research effort was led by the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) to comply with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which requires routine surveys to monitor the abundance of marine mammals in the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The acoustic component of these surveys allowed Bio-Waves and SEFSC researchers to gather passive acoustic data on marine mammals, including animals that were not visually observed at the surface, and provided the opportunity to monitor overnight or during inclement weather when visual monitoring was not possible. During the cruise, Bio-Waves researchers used a towed hydrophone array to survey and monitor marine mammals 24 hours a day, complementing the data collected by the visual observers.

Sponsor: Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC)