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Research Brief: 2023 Harbor Porpoise Monitoring

April 28, 2023

Testing the effectiveness of pingers in deterring harbor porpoise in Southeast, Alaska

Who is conducting the research?

Scientists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s  Marine Mammal and Auke Bay Laboratories along with personnel from the Alaska Region Office.

What is the research objective?

The overall research objective is to test and compare the effectiveness of two commercially available pingers in deterring harbor porpoise.

Where is the research being conducted?

A pinger will be deployed in Auke Bay.  Harbor porpoise behavior will be monitored using passive acoustic moorings and visual observations from shore.  An additional passive acoustics recorder will be deployed in Lena Cove as a control site. 

Why are the data important? How will data be used?

Serious injury and mortality of harbor porpoise in Southeast Alaska’s commercial fisheries is a significant conservation and management concern. Pingers are effective in deterring harbor porpoise from fishing nets for some fisheries, and may be an effective way to reduce harbor porpoise bycatch in Southeast Alaska. Data collected during this project will provide important information on the effectiveness of pingers in this environment.

Last updated by Alaska Fisheries Science Center on 04/28/2023

Research in Alaska