Monday, January 30, 2023: Data
|10:00||Introduction of Panel, Terms of Reference, Agenda Review||Richard Merrick and Michael Asaro|
|10:15||ALWTRT Background and Overview of the Purpose of the Decision Support Tool (DST)||Michael Asaro|
|10:45||Clarifying Questions and Discussion||Panel|
|11:00||Model Overview: general background, highlights of what has changed, linkages to terms of reference||Burton Shank|
|11:30||Clarifying Questions and Discussion||Panel|
|1:00||Presentation: Gillnet and OTP Gear and Fisheries||Alicia Miller, Laura Solinger|
|1:30||Presentation: Lobster/Jonah Crab Gear and Fisheries||Burton Shank|
|2:15||Clarifying Questions and Discussion||Panel|
|3:00||Clarifying Questions and Discussion About Data||Panel|
|4:00||Public Questions and Comments|
|4:15||Discussion of Findings/Recommendations on DST Supporting Data||Panel|
Peer Review: Right Whale Decision Support Tool
Reviewers will evaluate a method that helps people understand when and where North Atlantic right whales risk entanglement in fixed fishing gear off the northeastern United States, and the likely effectiveness of different measures to reduce that risk.
Entanglement in fishing gear is a leading cause of serious injury and death among endangered North Atlantic right whales. The current plan for reducing entanglement risk affects fixed gear commercial fishing operations in U.S. Atlantic waters, particularly trap/pot gear used to harvest American lobster and Jonah crab and gillnets.
The right whale population is small. Seeing an entanglement event is rare, and we do not often identify or retrieve entangling gear from whales. As a result, it is not feasible to calculate an absolute measure of entanglement risk posed by different gear in different locations. Direct comparison of likely effectiveness between different risk reduction measures is also difficult.
Reviewers will evaluate an updated method—called a decision support tool—developed to help us understand when and where North Atlantic right whales risk entanglement in different kinds of fixed fishing gear off the northeastern United States, and how effective various risk mitigation measures are likely to be. Its earliest version was peer reviewed in November 2019. That version considered only the distribution and configuration of Northeast lobster and Jonah crab gear. Since then, the DST has been updated to incorporate all of the fisheries regulated under the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan.
The peer review meeting is open to the public, and specific times for public comment are incorporated into the agenda.
All times in the agenda are approximate, and may be changed at the discretion of the chair.
Terms of Reference
In their final reports, the reviewers will review whether the tool:
- Incorporates the U.S. lobster, gillnet, and other trap/pot commercial fishery data sets necessary to determine fishing effort and distribution
- Incorporates relevant estimates of right whale distribution and densities
- Uses appropriate entanglement risk coefficients by gear type
- Incorporates appropriate approaches to applying these coefficients to estimate relative risk (and risk uncertainty) of large whales encountering gear
- Provides appropriate estimates of risk reduction of large whales encountering gear, using the fishing effort and right whale density data reviewed under the first two bullets, above
The peer review is being coordinated by the Atlantic Scientific Review Group. Scientific Review Groups advise NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the status of marine mammal stocks under Section 117 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The decision support tool peer review panel includes:
- Richard Merrick (chair), Atlantic Scientific Review Group
- Erin Summers, Maine Department of Marine Resources and Atlantic Scientific Review Group
- Tim Tinker, U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center
- Dewayne Fox, Delaware State University
- Rebecca Lewison, San Diego State University
- Genevieve Nesslage, University of Maryland
To Participate in the Meeting
Meeting presentations have been aggregated into a single file. You can access it here (PDF, 105 p). If prompted, request permission to access.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023: Models
|10:00||Summary of Day 1||Richard Merrick|
|10:15||Presentation: Duke NARW “Habitat” (Distribution and Density) Model. What's new in recent model versions and how this is integrated into the DST||Jason Roberts|
|11:15||Clarifying Questions and Discussion||Panel|
|11:45||Public Questions and Comments|
|1:00||Presentation: DST model. Co-occurrence model and scoring, risk/gear threat model and scoring, threat weightings, modeling the threats, model outputs||Burton Shank|
|2:00||Clarifying Questions and Discussion About Models||Panel|
|2:45||Continue Discussion About Models||Panel|
|4:00||Public Questions and Comments|
|4:15||Discussion of Findings/Recommendations on DST and Supporting Models||Panel|
|Wednesday, February 1, 2023: Provide Recommendations (Optional Day)|
|9:00||Review of state of play||Richard Merrick|
|9:15||Panel Discussion and Recommendations: Recommendations on whether each term of reference is met, recommendations for short- and long-term improvements in the DST||Panel|