Gulf of Alaska Line Transect Survey (GOALS II)

Goal: To assess the distribution, abundance and occurrence of marine mammals in the U.S. Navy’s temporary maritime activities area (TMAA) in the Gulf of Alaska.

Time Period: 2013

Our Role: Provide the equipment and research personnel to conduct passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) 24 hours a day to complement visual line transect survey efforts.

Bio-Waves, Inc. researchers participated in a survey during the summer of 2013 to assess the abundance, density and distribution of marine mammals in the U.S. Navy’s Gulf of Alaska TMAA. Visual and acoustic line transect surveys covering four habitat types (inshore, slope, seamount, offshore) were conducted for 26 days, in conjunction with 24-hour passive acoustic monitoring. A five-element towed hydrophone array system and directional frequency (DiFAR) sonobuoys were also deployed to collect passive acoustic data on odontocetes (toothed whales and dolphins) and mysticetes (baleen whales). The combination of visual and acoustic efforts during this survey provided one of the most comprehensive data sets on marine mammal occurrence and distribution in the central Gulf of Alaska, and made it possible to calculate acoustic-based density estimates for sperm whales.

Partners: HDR Environmental, Operations and Construction, Inc.; Cascadia Research Collective

Sponsor: United States Navy

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