Guidance to Parties Interested in Conducting Biopsies on Cook Inlet Beluga Whales
NOAA Fisheries urges those developing proposals that include obtaining biopsy samples from Cook Inlet beluga whales to incorporate the recommendations from this report into their study plans.
The topic of conducting biopsy studies on endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales is a recurring one. In an effort to provide expert-generated guidance for undertaking such studies, NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region sponsored a Cook Inlet beluga whale biopsy workshop in April 2014. Participants brought to the table experience with biopsy methods, tissue collection procedures, lab analyses of biopsy samples, as well as an appreciation of the Endangered Species Act. The workshop report is available on the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region's website. NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region's views regarding funding, permitting or authorizing biopsy studies of Cook Inlet beluga whales will be informed by the contents of this report.