Marine Mammals of the Southeast Atlantic

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1 July 31 st 2015 Marine Mammals of the Southeast Atlantic Andrew J. Read Nicholas School of the Environment Duke University Marine Lab Beaufort, NC

2 Atlantic Pending Surveys Georgia Florida DT KW TV RL North Carolina South Carolina FO WA BH WB BN MA AN Pennsylvania Maryland West Virginia Delaware District of Columbia SB JV SV BW DB OL Virginia JI HO SN AD PY GT CF RH HA BK MS BP BF RM New Jersey CS RS TL ZY CT MM WN MT WI BR HM WT HR LN TB ZX Miles ± *Survey polygons are derived from public information maps JO WV LI EV ZZ Legend E14-009_2D_SpectrumGeo E14-008_AeroGrav_ARKeX E14-007_3D_PGS E14-006_2D_SpectrumGeo E14-005_2D_CGG E14-004_2D_WesternGeco E14-003_2D_GXTechnology E14-002_2D_Seabird E14-001_2D_TGS ATL_Protractions Planning_Area StatesAtlantic What do we know about the marine mammals in this area? Species occurrence Distribution Population Structure Behavior Vulnerability

3 In near-shore waters (less than 50 nm from shore), our knowledge of marine mammals is pretty good. In the rest of the EEZ our knowledge is incomplete, at best. Outside the EEZ we are just making things up.

4 The waters of the proposed lease program and seismic survey areas support a diverse assemblage of whales and dolphins Seven species of baleen whales North Atlantic Right Whale and Calf

5 The waters of the proposed lease program and seismic survey areas support a diverse assemblage of whales and dolphins Seven species of baleen whales Twenty-three species of toothed whales Common Dolphins

6 The waters of the proposed lease program and seismic survey areas support a diverse assemblage of whales and dolphins (and sea turtles) Seven species of baleen whales Twenty-three species of toothed whales Four species of sea turtles Loggerhead Sea Turtle

7 The waters of the proposed lease program and seismic survey areas support a diverse assemblage of whales and dolphins (and sea turtles) Seven species of baleen whales Twenty-three species of toothed whales Four species of sea turtles Sperm Whale Ten of these 34 species are listed as Threatened or Endangered under the ESA

8 North Atlantic Right Whales

9 North Atlantic Right Whales NOAA Stock Assessment 476 individual whales were known to be alive in 2011

10 Cuvier s Beaked Whales These deep-diving whales are particularly susceptible to some anthropogenic sounds Off Cape Hatteras, they make dives to depths of up to 2,800 m and with durations of up to 98 minutes

11 Cuvier s Beaked Whales

12 Pelagic Bottlenose Dolphins The highest numbers estimated for a particular species are for the bottlenose dolphin, as noted above, and in its case the PEIS estimated potential for Level A takings of up to 11,748 individual bottlenose dolphins a year from air gun surveys and potential for up to 1,151,442 Level B takings. William Y. Brown, Chief Environmental Officer, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. March 9, 2015.

13 Pelagic Bottlenose Dolphins NOAA Stock Assessment We assume a single pelagic stock But some dolphins call The Point home

14 High Species Diversity at The Point off Cape Hatteras

15 A Few Concluding Thoughts 1. Our knowledge of marine mammals offshore of the continental shelf break in the Mid- and South Atlantic is very poor 2. Some vulnerable species, such as right whales, are already at risk as a result of human activities, including fishing and shipping 3. We should not assume that the pelagic realm is one enormous, continuous habitat 4. Some particularly sensitive areas, such as The Point off Cape Hatteras, deserve a special degree of protection July 31 st 2015

16 Thank You.

17 North Atlantic Right Whales 80 W 75 W 70 W NH Canada NY MA 80 W 40 N CT 76 W NJ NC 34 N RI SC DE MD VA NC 35 N Atlantic Ocean 30 N GA SC Calving Habitat Atlantic Ocean GA 0 Kilometers N FL Migratory Corridor FL 25 N 0 LaBrecque et al. (2015). Aquatic Mammals 41: Kilometers

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