NEFSC Protected Species Branch Staff

Fred Wenzel

Frederick Wenzel

Current Activities

Frederick Wenzel is the Vessel Operations Coordinator for NOAA Small boat activities in the US Northeast Region. He is the regional instructor for NOAA's Small Boat Component safety class, as well as leading and promoting additional small boat operator classes for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

For the past 10+ years, Fred has been actively involved with marine mammal feeding ecology research in the North Atlantic waters of the U.S. His research includes looking at the changes in migration, movements and foraging activities of marine mammals and observing the ever changing ecosystem, including global warming waters, and changes observed within the fishing industry. Fred's primary responsibility includes the review and monitoring of marine mammal bycatch in the region.

Background

Fred grew up in New England. He earned his B.S. in Parks and Recreation/Outdoor Education from Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, Vermont. He worked for several years with Outward Bound programs and outdoor education programs, before landing a job as a whale watch naturalist in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1978. "One of the important things I learned from my early days at sea aboard whale watching vessels was that I had more questions than answers about marine mammals. Now looking back over the last 40 years, how the fauna of the western Gulf of Maine has changed. In the late 1970's, we observed white beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and killer whales (Orcinus orca) annual in Cape Cod Bay.White beaked dolphins were replaced by white sided dolphins, (L. acutus) who are now replaced by Common dolphins, (Delphinus delphis)". Currently, Tuna and killer whales are rare sightings in these waters.

After 10 years of marine mammal research, Fred decided to return to graduate school, completing his Master's degree at Northeastern University, Boston, where his research focused on the life history and mortality of harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).

Fred worked part-time as a marine mammal observer for the Protected Species Branch in 1991. In 1997, he accepted a position as a Fisheries Research Biologist, conducting aerial and shipboard marine mammal surveys. He has conducted research in numerous North Atlantic marine mammal species including blue whales, right whales, humpbacks, harbor porpoise, gray and harbor seals.to name just a few.

Selected Publications:

Wenzel F, Josephson E, Lyssikatos MC. 2016. Serious injury determinations for small cetaceans and pinnipeds caught in commercial fisheries off the northeast U.S. coast, 2014. US Dept. Commer, NOAA Tech. Memo 16-11; 18 p.

Stevick PT, Berrow SD, Bérubé M, Bouveret L, Broms F, Jann B, Kennedy A, López Suárez P, Meunier M, Ryan C, Wenzel F. 2016. There and back again: multiple and return exchange of humpback whales between breeding habitats separated by an ocean basin. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK. 96(4):885-890.

Vollmer NL, Gonzalez V, Lesage V , Potter C, Rosel PE, Wenzel F. 2015. Detection of fine-scale population structure of the Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) in the western North Atlantic using RAD-seq data. Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference, San Francisco, CA. Dec. 2015.

Wenzel FW, Martins A, Craddock JE, Early G, Josephson E, Lentell B, Polloni P, Greer W, Waring G. 2015. Long term study on the feeding ecology of U.S. northwest Atlantic harbor seals (Phoca vitulina concolor). Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference, San Francisco, CA. Dec. 2015.

Wenzel F, Waring GT, Josephson, E, Lyssikatos MC, Byrd BL, Horstman SC, Powell JR. 2015. Serious injury determinations for small cetaceans and pinnipeds caught in commercial fisheries off the northeast U.S. coast, 2013. US Dept Commer, NOAA Tech. Memo NMFS-NE-236; 36 p.

Waring GT, Josephson E, Lyssikatos MC, Wenzel F. 2015. Serious injury determinations for small cetaceans and pinnipeds caught in commercial fisheries off the northeast U.S. coast, 2012. US Dept Commer, Northeast Fish Sci Cent Ref Doc. 15-12; 19 p.

Kroeger J, Wenzel F, Craddock JE, Gannon D, Pabst D. 2015. Diet analysis of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic. Poster presentation at the SEAMAMMS Conference, Charleston, N.C. March 2015.

Wenzel FW, Martin A, Craddock JE, Early G, Josephson E, Polloni P, Greer W, Roy K, Lentell B and Waring G. 2015. Long term study on the feeding ecology of northeast U.S. Atlantic harbor seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) and Gray seals (Halichoerus grypus). NASRC. Salem, MA.

Ryan C, Wenzel FW, López Suárez P, Berrow SD. 2014. An abundance estimate for humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae breeding around Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands. Zoologia Caboverdiana 5 (1): 20-28.

Wenzel FW, Polloni PT, Craddock JE, Gannon DP, Nicolas JR, Read AJ, Rosel PE. 2013. Food habits of Sowerby's beaked whales, Mesoplodon bidens, taken in the western North Atlantic pelagic drift gillnet fishery. Fishery Bulletin. 111(4):381-389.

Wenzel FW, López Suárez P. 2012. What is known about cookiecutter shark (Isistius spp.) interactions with cetaceans in Cape Verde seas? Zoologia Caboverdiana. 3(2):57-66.

Fahlman AS, Loring H, Ferrigno M, Moore C, Early G, Niemeyer M, Lentell B, Wenzel F, Joy R, Moore MJ. 2011. Static inflation and deflation pressure-volume curves from excised lungs of marine mammals. J. Experimental Biol. 214(22):3822-3828.

Baumgartner M, Lysiak N, Schuman C, Urban-Rich J, Wenzel F. 2011. Diel vertical migration behavior of Calanus finmarchicus in the southwestern Gulf of Maine and its influence on right and sei whale occurrence. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 423:167-184.

Hazevoe CJ, Gravanita B, Lopez Suarez P, Wenzel FW. 2011. Seasonality of humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781) records in Cape Verde seas: Evidence for the occurrence of stocks from both hemispheres? Zoologia Caboverdiana. 2(1):25-29.

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