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Kracker, L., and C. Menza. 2015. An evaluation of marine mammal surveys to support Washington State's Marine Spatial Planning process. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 195. Silver Spring, MD. 37 pp. https://doi.org/10.7289/V5/TM-NOS-NCCOS-195

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum


The objective of this report is to identify and evaluate existing datasets related to the distribution of marine mammals along the Northwest coast of the United States which can support Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) by the State of Washington. In this report, we consider the degree to which existing datasets are able to represent species distributions and provide information needed by Washington to mitigate potential conflicts among ocean users and ensure adequate biological conservation. A review of pelagic, nearshore and shore-based surveys, as well as data collected via passive acoustic sensors and animal borne sensors, is provided. This document is organized by the scale at which the surveys are conducted, starting with broad-scale offshore cetacean surveys observed primarily from ships. Next, moderate scale surveys (e.g., Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and state waters) conducted from various platforms are described, followed by nearshore/onshore pinniped surveys. Lastly, brief reviews of passive acoustic surveys and animal borne sensor data available in the region are provided.

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