Distribution and Abundance of Atlantic Marine Mammals
We lead a Consortium of academic institutions in a large-scale research program to provide the U.S. Navy with baseline data on the occurrence, density and residency patterns of marine mammals and sea turtles at several reference sites in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing area. We conduct year-round research in the following areas: Norfolk Canyon, Virginia, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida. The Consortium includes Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institition and the University of St. Andrews. Our program consists of line transect aerial surveys, photo-identification, biopsy sampling, deployment of satellite-linked and Digital Acoustic Tags, behavioral observations and passive acoustic monitoring using High Frequency Acoustic Recording Packages. This program is yielding a rich picture of the distribution and ecology of pelagic cetaceans in these areas. This project is supported by Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic.