Arctic Walrus Change Mass Haul Out Behavior

SeaDiscovery.com
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Arctic Walrus Haul Out: Photo courtesy of NOAA

NOAA scientists participating in this year's annual Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals project in Alaska say they have photographed an area where thousands of Pacific walruses haul out of the ocean on a remote barrier island in the Chukchi Sea, near Pt. Lay.

Scientists say it is difficult to provide an accurate count of the number of walruses densely packed together on coastal haulouts. Using aerial photographs, scientists estimated that this year's haulout at Pt. Lay initially contained 1,500 to 4,000 animals on Sept. 12. The number of walruses had increased to 5,500 to 8,000 when sighted on Sept. 22, and on Sept. 27, biologists estimated that there were approximately 10,000 walruses.

"Large walrus haulouts along the Alaskan coasts in the northeastern Chukchi Sea are a relatively new phenomenon," said Megan Ferguson, marine mammal scientist with NOAA Fisheries. "NOAA's research doesn't typically extend to studying walruses, since this is a species managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), so you can imagine how exciting it was for us to be able to collect such valuable data for our partner agencies."

In the past, walruses used sea ice habitat offshore in the northern Chukchi Sea as resting platforms in between dives to the bottom of the shallow Chukchi Sea where they feed on their preferred prey, including clams, snails and worms, during the summer and autumn. Due to loss of ice in offshore areas, walruses are foraging in more coastal areas and using beaches for resting (hauling out).

Conserving and restoring protected species such as whales is one of NOAA Fisheries' core missions. The goal of the surveys is to document the distribution and relative abundance of bowhead, gray, minke, fin whales, beluga whales and other marine mammals in areas of potential oil and natural gas exploration, development and production activities in the Alaskan Arctic.

This study is being funded and co-managed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)'s environmental studies program.
 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

VT Halter Begins Building LNG-powered ConRo Ships for Crowley

VT Halter Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), has commenced construction on the first of two liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered,

NYK Line Joins PNW West Coast Metro Pool

Effective October 20, 2014, NYK Line has become a member of the PNW West Coast Metro Pool (WCMP) operated by Trac Intermodal. The WCMP operates chassis at all major marine terminals,

ISS Manages Heavy-lift Project at Port of Mombasa

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) announced it has completed another complex heavy-lift project in Africa, this time at the Port of Mombasa in Kenya. ISS was

Environmental

Court Dismisses Boating Industry’s Challenge to EPA Misfueling Rule

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said it is disappointed with the U.S. Court of Appeals decision released on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 for the D.

New Dual Use Piracy Barrier Launched

Guardian Maritime launched Guardian Greenwater, a new product that was developed to deal with the issue of greenwater on-board deck following turbulent weather conditions,

Australia Join Operation RENDER SAFE

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have arrived in Bougainville to address a potentially deadly legacy posed by unexploded ordnance from past conflicts as part of Operation RENDER SAFE 2014.

Marine Science

New Research Vessel Delivered on the Great Lakes

The new oceanographic research and fisheries assessment vessel, Arcticus, completed her sea trials and was delivered to the U.S. Geological Survey's Great Lakes Science Center on October 17.

Mitsubishi Super Skiving System

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has completed development of the "Mitsubishi Super Skiving System" for machining internal gears with high speed and outstanding precision.

Ocean Power Technologies to Deploy PB40 PowerBuoy Off New Jersey

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc., announced today that the PB40 PowerBuoy(R) fabricated for the WavePort Project has shipped from Santander, Spain to Bayonne, NJ

Arctic Operations

Lavrov: No need for NATO in the Arctic

During the open lecture on Russia’s foreign policy, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that he could see no need for NATO presence in the Arctic. ‘From time to time,

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

MEPC Approves Draft Polar Code

Draft Polar Code approved by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee A key step on the way to a mandatory Polar Code for ships operating in Arctic and

Ocean Observation

Salamander Energy Updates on SONA Transaction

Salamander Energy said it has submitted a draft shareholder circular to the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to previously stated plans to divest of an interest in the Greater Bualuang Area.

Sea Level Rise ‘Worst Case Scenario’

A paper published this week in Environmental Research Letters by NOC scientist Dr. Svetlana Jevrejeva provides new information about the probability of a sea-level rise reaching of 180cm by 2100.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2542 sec (4 req/sec)