Gulf of Maine seals - populations, problems and priorities
Bogomolni, Andrea L.
Early, Greg A.
Matassa, Keith A.
Nichols, Owen C.
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LocationGulf of Maine
As pinniped populations shift and change along the northeast U.S. and Canadian coastline, so too do the interests and issues of regional residents, scientists and stakeholders. In May 2009 the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) sponsored a meeting resulting in recommendations in three key areas regarding pinnipeds: population dynamics, human interaction and disease/health. The population group recommended: developing long-term surveys over all seasons and geographic ranges, coordinating sampling efforts for dietary research, refining correction factors for survey results, increasing documentation of fishery interactions and developing means of funding. The human interactions group recommended: addressing marine debris, developing survey, reporting and retrieval protocols for discarded fishing gear, studying impact of and expanding education and outreach for commercial seal watching, researching methods to deter depredation from fishing gear, streamlining the permitting processes for acoustic deterrent and gear modification research, and increasing cooperative research and outreach to the fishing community. The health and disease working group recommended: establishing baseline health indicators, addressing priority disease concerns, creating a pool of resources for standardized analysis of normal and unusual health event monitoring, determining standard health baselines for release, establishing a health consortium, improving communication along the coastline and establishing long term funding and ongoing collaboration.
Meeting held: May 28th – 29th 2009, WHOI, Quissett Campus, Sponsored by the Marine Mammal Center at WHOI
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