Arctic Walrus Change Mass Haul Out Behavior
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 Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Gulf and Hendry Marine Consolidate Operations

Gulf Marine Repair Corporation, a southeastern tug-barge shipyard, announced it is consolidating operations with Hendry Corporation, its affiliated company and fellow shipyard,

Damen’s Norway Foray

The Damen Shipyard Group’s man in Norway likes picking up the phone these days. With offshore markets in the doldrums, a unique phenomenon is occurring: “Norwegians are talking to me,

It's All in the Planning

Continuing voracious demand for mined materials in China, India and other developing nations has led to an associated requirement for increased bulk terminal capacity


It's All in the Planning

Continuing voracious demand for mined materials in China, India and other developing nations has led to an associated requirement for increased bulk terminal capacity

Alfa Laval Debuts Inline Scrubber Design

Alfa Laval’s PureSOx exhaust gas cleaning system platform now includes an inline scrubber design: I-design.   “Through open-loop, closed-loop and hybrid arrangements,

Fugro to Survey off Equatorial Guinea

Fugro has been awarded a contract by Ophir Equatorial Guinea (Block R) Limited for the provision of survey services for the development of large scale assets and

Marine Science

Wärtsilä Sternguard In-Water Serviceable Seal Launched

Wärtsilä, the marine and offshore industry's leading solutions and services provider, introduces an innovative new seal that can be fully serviced underwater, without setting up a habitat.

Rates, Fees of Danish Maritime Authority to be Revised

A number of fee rates within the Danish Maritime Authority's area will be changed from 2016. The price schedule is available from the webpage of the Danish Maritime Authority.

Henriksen Unveils Strongest SOLAS Boat Lifting Hook

H Henriksen of Norway has received SOLAS certification for a new off-load single-point boat lifting hook capable of holding up to 22.5-tonnes. The quick release

Ocean Observation

Shipping emissions 17% of global CO2

Shipping could be responsible for 17% of global CO2 emissions in 2050 if left unregulated, according to a new scientific study conducted by European Parliament

Sustainable Shipping Initiative leans on shipping ahead of COP21

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is stepping up pressure on the shipping industry ahead of the COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris, says The Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia.

Panama-Registered Ship Sinks off Vigan City

A Panamanian cargo vessel MV Fortune Life sank off the coast 130 nautical off Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), uthorities said.   The

Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1133 sec (9 req/sec)