CONTENTS Acknowledgments Executive Summary Introduction Table 1. Assessment Summary Stock Assessments for 2002 List of Appendices List of Stock Assessments for All Years
NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-169
U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Marine Mammal Stock Assessments -- 2002Gordon T. Waring1, Janeen M. Quintal1, and Carol P. Fairfield2, Editors
with contributions from (listed alphabetically): Phillip J. Clapham1, Timothy V.N. Cole1, Lance P. Garrison2, Georgia Department of Natural Resources3, Aleta Hohn4, Blair G. Maise2, Wayne E. McFee5, Debra L. Palka1, Patricia E. Rosel5, Marjorie C. Rossman1, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Cynthia Yeung2
1National Marine Fisheries Serv., Woods Hole Lab., 166 Water St., Woods Hole, MA 02543
2National Marine Fisheries Service, 75 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami, FL 33149-1003
3Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources, 2070 U.S. Hwy. 278 S.E., Social Circle, GA 30025
4National Marine Fisheries Serv., 101 Pivers Island Rd., Beaufort, NC 28516-9722
5National Marine Fisheries Serv., 219 Fort Johnson Rd., Charleston, SC 29412
6U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv., 300 Westgate Center Dr., Hadley, MA 01035-9589
Web version posted April 18, 2003Citation: Waring GT, Quintal JM, Fairfield CP, editors. 2002. US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments -- 2002. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS NE 169; 318 p.
Information Quality Act Compliance: In accordance with section 515 of Public Law 106-554, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center completed both technical and policy reviews for this report. These predissemination reviews are on file at the NEFSC Editorial Office.
The authors wish to acknowledge contributions by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) Sea Sampling Investigation, and Dana Hartley, NMFS Northeast Stranding and Disentanglement Program. Also, we acknowledge advice and comments provided by: Jon Gibson, Richard Merrick, and Fred Serchuk (NEFSC); Kim Thounhurst and Diane Borggaard, Northeast Regional Office (NERO); Steven Swartz, Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC); Katie Moore and Kathy Wang, Southeast Regional Office (SERO); Tom Eagle and Emily Menashes, NMFS Office of Protected Resources; Solange Brault, Don Baltz, Joseph DeAlteris, James Gilbert, Robert Kenney, Bill Lang, James Mead, Daniel Odell, Andrew Read, Richard Seagraves, Randall Wells, and Sharon Young of the Atlantic Scientific Review Group; Robin Baird and Jim Valade, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Barbara Zoodsma of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. We also thank the Marine Mammal Commission, the Ocean Conservancy, and the Humane Society of the United States for their constructive comments and advice.
Under the 1994 amendments of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) were required to generate stock assessment reports (SAR) for all marine mammal stocks in waters within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The first reports for the Atlantic (includes the Gulf of Mexico) were published in July 1995 (Blaylock et al. 1995). The MMPA requires NMFS and USFWS to review these reports annually for strategic stocks of marine mammals and at least every 3 years for stocks determined to be non-strategic. The second edition of the SARs (1996 assessments) was published in October 1997 and contained all the previous reports, but major revisions and updating were only completed for strategic stocks (Waring et al. 1997). Updated reports were identified by a 1997 date-stamp at the top right corner at the beginning of each report. The 3rd edition of the SARs (1998 assessments) only contained reports for Atlantic stocks, and updated reports were identified by a 1998 date-stamp (Waring et al. 1999). The 4th edition of the SARs (1999 assessments) only contained reports for Atlantic stocks, and updated reports were identified by a 1999 date-stamp (Waring et al. 1999). The 5th and 6th editions of the SAR contained all NMFS reports for the Atlantic (includes the Gulf of Mexico) and the USFWS West Indian manatee assessments. Updated reports were identified, respectively, by 2000 and 2001date-stamps (Waring et al. 2000, 2001). The current (2002) report contains updated assessments for Atlantic strategic stocks and for any additional stocks which had significant new information available. These reports are identified by a January 2002 date-stamp at the beginning of each report. Appendix I contains a summary of serious injury/mortality estimates of marine mammals in observed U.S. fisheries. Appendix II summarizes NMFS records of large whale/human interactions examined for this assessment. Appendices III and IV contain stock assessments not updated in the year 2001and the West Indian Manatees stock assessments, respectively.
This report was prepared by staff of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC), and USFWS. NMFS and USFWS staff presented the reports at the November 2001 meeting of the Atlantic Scientific Review Group (ASRG), and subsequent revisions were based on their contributions and constructive criticism.
Table 1 contains a summary, by species, of the information included in the stock assessments, and also indicates those that have been revised since the 2001 publication. A total of 23 of the 60 Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico stock assessment reports were revised for 2002. Most of the proposed changes incorporate new information into sections on population size and/or mortality estimates. The revised SARs include 14 strategic and 9 nonstrategic stocks. Information on human interactions (fishery and ship strikes) between the right whale, humpback whale, fin whale, and minke whale stocks were re-reviewed and updated. This is a working document and individual stock assessment reports will be updated as new information becomes available and as changes to marine mammal stocks and fisheries occur. The authors solicit any new information or comments which would improve future stock assessment reports.
Section 117 of the 1994 amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) requires that an annual stock assessment report (SAR) for each stock of marine mammals that occurs in waters under USA jurisdiction, be prepared by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), in consultation with regional Scientific Review Groups (SRGs). The SRGs are a broad representation of marine mammal and fishery scientists and members of the commercial fishing industry mandated to review the marine mammal stock assessments and provide advice to the NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries. The reports are then made available on the Federal Register for public review and comment before final publication.
The MMPA requires that each SAR contain several items, including: (1) a description of the stock, including its geographic range; (2) a minimum population estimate, a maximum net productivity rate, and a description of current population trend, including a description of the information upon which these are based; (3) an estimate of the annual human-caused mortality and serious injury of the stock, and, for a strategic stock, other factors that may be causing a decline or impeding recovery of the stock, including effects on marine mammal habitat and prey; (4) a description of the commercial fisheries that interact with the stock, including the estimated number of vessels actively participating in the fishery and the level of incidental mortality and serious injury of the stock by each fishery on an annual basis; (5) a statement categorizing the stock as strategic or not, and why; and (6) an estimate of the potential biological removal (PBR) level for the stock, describing the information used to calculate it. The MMPA also requires that SARs be updated annually for stocks which are specified as strategic stocks, or for which significant new information is available, and once every three years for non-strategic stocks.
Following enactment of the 1994 amendments, the NMFS and USFWS held a series of workshops to develop guidelines for preparing the SARs. The first set of stock assessments for the Atlantic Coast (including the Gulf of Mexico) were published in July 1995 in the NOAA Technical Memorandum series (Blaylock et al. 1995). In April 1996, the NMFS held a workshop to review proposed additions and revisions to the guidelines for preparing SARs (Wade and Angliss 1997). Guidelines developed at the workshop were followed in preparing the 1996 (Waring et al. 1997), 1998 (Waring et al. 1999), 1999 (Waring et al. 1999), 2000 (Waring et al. 2000), and 2001 (Waring et al. 2001) SARs. A 1997 SAR was not produced.
In this document, major revisions and updating of the SARs were only completed for Atlantic Coast strategic stocks and Atlantic Coast stocks for which significant new information were available. These are identified by the January 2002 date-stamp at the top right corner at the beginning of each report.
Blaylock, R. A., J. W. Hain, L. J. Hansen, D. L. Palka and G. T. Waring. 1995. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-SEFSC-363, 211 pp.
Wade, P. R. and R. P. Angliss. 1997. Guidelines for assessing marine mammal stocks: Report of the GAMMS workshop April 3-5, 1996, Seattle, Washington. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-OPR-12, 93 pp.
Waring, G. T., D. L. Palka, K. D. Mullin, J. H. W. Hain, L. J. Hansen and K. D. Bisack. 1997. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-NE-114, 250 pp.
Waring, G. T., D. L. Palka, P, J. Clapham, S. Swartz, M. Rossman, T.V.N. Cole, K. D. Bisack and L. J. Hansen. 1999. U.S. Atlantic marine mammal stock assessments-1998. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-NE-116, 182 pp.
Waring, G. T., D. L. Palka, P. J. Clapham, S. Swartz, M. C. Rossman, T. V. N. Cole, L .J. Hansen, K. D. Bisack, K.D. Mullin, R. S. Wells, D. K. Odell and N. B. Barros. 1999. U. S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments - 1999. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-NE-153, 196 pp.
Waring, G. T., J. M. Quintal and S. Swartz. 2000. U. S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments - 2000. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-NE-162, 303 pp.
Waring, G. T., J. M. Quintal and S. Swartz. 2001. U. S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments - 2001. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-NE-168, 310 pp.