Arctic Whale Ecology Study April 2013 Quarterly Report

December 06, 2013

Through an Inter-Agency agreement (IA) between the National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), NMML is conducting a dedicated multi-year study to determine relationships between dominant currents passing from the Bering Sea into and through the Chukchi Sea and prey resources delivered to the Barrow Arch area (an area of high bowhead whale and prey concentrations between Wainwright and Smith Bay), and to provide information about the dynamic nature of those relationships relative to whale distribution and habitat utilization in the eastern Chukchi and extreme western Beaufort Seas. This study will also provide important baseline data on the occurrence, distribution and habitat use of large whales in an area that is subject to rapid change in climate and human industrial development. This quarterly report covers the period of this study between January and March 2013.

The major activity during this period consisted of planning for the 2013 vessel survey.