Navigation Links
MMS and NOAA scientists study prey of Gulf of Mexico sperm whales
Date:3/2/2010

NEW ORLEANS, LA. Minerals Management Service (MMS) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service biologists have set sail to learn more about the prey of sperm whales in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The first of the research cruise's three legs was completed on February 10, 2010 and the second is underway. The first and second legs of the cruise departed from the NOAA Fisheries Service's Southeast Fisheries Science Center laboratory in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The $550,000 MMS-funded "Sperm Whale Acoustic Prey Study" is part of a cooperative interagency agreement between the MMS and the NOAA Fisheries Service. The results of this study will give each agency a better understanding of how the sperm whale, an endangered species, survives in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

"For over 36 years we have been gathering and synthesizing environmental information through the MMS Environmental Studies Program in the Gulf of Mexico," said MMS biologist Dr. Deborah Epperson, who is working on the study. "Studies such as this one aid in our understanding of marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico, further enhancing our ability to responsibly manage these offshore areas."

Study results will characterize the potential prey of sperm whales and assess the prey's abundance, distribution, and diversity. Trawling will take place in the northern Gulf of Mexico in water depths ranging from 3,200 to 8,600 feet. As part of the study, MMS and NOAA Fisheries Service scientists will also collect data on a small isolated population of Bryde's whales, the Gulf's only resident baleen whale.

"We've assembled another great team of scientists for this cruise from NOAA and MMS," said Anthony Martinez, marine mammal scientist for NOAA Fisheries Service. "We are excited to continue our research on the feeding ecology of sperm whales, as this multidisciplinary study will help us better understand how these endangered large whales utilize their environment so we may better conserve and protect them."

The survey is being conducted aboard the NOAA ship Pisces, a new state-of-the-art 208-foot fisheries survey vessel, which features quiet-hull technology and carries a crew of 21 and up to 15 scientists on a given mission. The research team aboard the Pisces is comprised of scientists from MMS, NOAA's southeast and northeast fisheries science centers, and the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology office.

Since the 1990s, the MMS has sponsored numerous studies of sperm whales. One such study included the six-year Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS). The MMS-funded SWSS study provided new information about sperm whales residing in the Gulf, and about their responses to human-created sounds. The "Sperm Whale Acoustic Prey Study" currently underway will address information gaps identified in SWSS.


'/>"/>

Contact: Eileen Angelico
eileen.angelico@mms.gov
504-736-2595
Minerals Management Service
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
4. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
5. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
8. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
9. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. T. rex quicker than Becks, say scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016   Avanade is ... Formula One teams in history, exploit biometric data in ... performance and maintain the competitive edge against their rivals ... Avanade has worked with Williams during ... of biometric data (heart rate, breathing rate, temperature and ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016  The Office ... today published "Can CT Scans Enhance or Replace ... the potential of supporting or replacing forensic autopsies ... CT scan. In response to recommendations ... is exploring using CT scans as a potential ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... BioDirection, a privately held medical device company developing novel ... concussion and other traumatic brain injury (TBI), announced today ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review ... meeting company representatives reviewed plans for clinical development of ... a planned pilot trial. "We are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... This CAST literature review and report looks at problems caused ... the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters and importers, which ... risk of low level presence (LLP) puts large volumes of trade worth billions of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... N.J. , Dec. 8, 2016 Soligenix, ... biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to ... need, announced today that it will be hosting an ... am ET on the origins of innate defense regulators ... a review of oral mucositis and the recently announced ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 Savannah River Remediation LLC group ... NewTechBio,s NT-MAX Lake & Pond Sludge and ... in conjunction with Hexa Armor/ Rhombo cover manufactured ... Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requirements. The ... history of elevated pH levels, above 8.5, especially ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016  Partnering to fuel Philadelphia,s ... of Southeastern Pennsylvania (" Ben ... of Independence Blue Cross; and Safeguard Scientifics ("Safeguard") (NYSE: ... a $6 million funding initiative over a four year ... Responding to a burgeoning economic vitality in digital health, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: