NT-23-01: Addressing Key Information Gaps in Acoustic Ecology of North Atlantic Right Whales

In support of the rapid development of offshore wind (OSW) on the Atlantic OCS, the Environmental Studies Program (ESP) has identified a priority need to address knowledge gaps in the acoustic behavior of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales (NARW).

This information is vital to the

effectiveness of passive acoustic monitoring required for mitigation.

This implements BOEM’s Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act mandate to monitor the marine environment adjacent to U. S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) operations to ensure minimal impacts to the environment and helps ensure responsible development of OCS energy resources.

Information will be gathered using digital acoustic recording tags on the relationship between behavioral state and vocalization features and patterns exhibited by tagged animals.

Additionally, the context of the animal’s behavior will be sampled (e.g., feeding vs migrating whales, mother-calf pairs) as acoustic behavior can be context-specific.

Lastly, the vast amounts of data that have been collected over the decades and continues to be collected every year needs to be considered in NARW conservation and management.

The overall goal of this cooperative agreement is to observe and describe acoustic behavior of NARW where significant data gaps in call rates exist and convey information about the context in which the acoustic behaviors are observed.
Agency: Department of the Interior

Office: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Estimated Funding: $850,000

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Additional Information of Eligibility:
Single source Cooperative Agreement with Duke University. 

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