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Humpback Whale with Calf

The Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program (CAEP) is responsible for conducting studies to assess the status of cetaceans in Alaskan waters under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  Major  CAEP projects have included studies of North Pacific right whales, bowhead whales, gray whales, humpback whales, beluga whales, killer whales, Dall’s porpoise, and harbor porpoise.  Other species included in CAEP research are blue whales, fin whales, sei whales, minke whales, sperm whales, beaked whales (including Cuvier’s, Baird’s, and Stejneger’s), and Pacific white-sided dolphins.  Most research projects involve determination of abundance, trends, stock structure, habitat use, and feeding ecology using aerial and vessel surveys, shore-based counts, acoustic studies, radio and satellite tagging, genetic studies, photo-identification of individual animals, and opportunistic sighting data.  CAEP uses the results of these stock assessments to provide the scientific advice necessary to manage cetaceans in Alaskan waters.  CAEP scientists also collaborate widely with other national and international research groups working on cetaceans across the North Pacific and, sometimes, in other oceans.

Program Leader: Phillip Clapham

Recent Reports, Publications, and Posters

Quarterly Reports
Publications
  • KENNEDY, A. S., A. N. ZERBINI, O. V. VASQUEZ, N. GANDILHON, P. J. CLAPHAM, and O. ADAM. 2014. Local and migratory movements of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) satellite-tracked in the North Atlantic Ocean. Can. J. Zool. 92:9-18. 
     
  • FEARNBACH, H., J. W. DURBAN, D. K. ELLIFRIT, J. M. WAITE, C. O. MATKIN, C. R. LUNSFORD, M. J. PETERSON, J. BARLOW, and P. R. WADE. 2014. Spatial and social connectivity of fish-eating “Resident” killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the northern North Pacific. Mar. Biol. 161:459-472. 
     
  • CLAPHAM, P. J., Y. V. IVASHCHENKO, and R. L. BROWNELL, Jr. 2014. The era of excess: Soviet illegal whaling and the failure of the IWC, p.45-46. In G. Carleton Ray and J. McCormick-Ray (editors), Marine Conservation: Science, Policy, and Management. Wiley Blackwell, West Sussex. 
     
  • CASTELLOTE, M., C. W. CLARK, and M. O. LAMMERS. 2014. Dispersal of North Atlantic fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) into the Mediterranean Sea and exchange between populations: Response to Gimenez et al., Rapid Commun. Mass. Spectrom. 2013, 27, 1801-1806. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 28:665-667. 
     
  • PARSONS, K. M., J. W. DURBAN, A. M. BURDIN, V. N. BURKANOV, R. L. PITMAN, J. BARLOW, L. G. BARRETT-LENNARD, R. G. LEDUC, K.M. ROBERTSON, C. O. MATKIN, and P. R. WADE. 2013. Geographic patterns of genetic differentiation among killer whales in the northern North Pacific. J. Heredity 104:737-754. 
     
  • GARLAND, E. C., J. GEDAMKE, M. L. REKDAHL, M. J. NOAD, C. GARRIGUE, and N. GALES. 2013. Humpback whale song on the southern ocean feeding grounds: Implications for cultural transmission. PLoS One 8(11):e79422. (.pdf, 4.62 MB).  Online.
     
  • CHRISTMAN, C. L., J. J. CITTA, L. T. QUAKENBUSH, J. T. CLARKE, B. K. RONE, R. A. SHEA, M. C. FERGUSON, and M. P. HEIDE-JØRGENSEN. 2013. Presence and behavior of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea in July 2011. Polar Biol. 36:1851–1856. 
     
  • SHELDEN, K. E. W., D. J. RUGH, K. T. GOETZ, C. L. SIMS, L. Vate BRATTSTROM, J. A. MOCKLIN, B. A. MAHONEY, B. K. SMITH, and R. C. HOBBS. 2013. Aerial surveys of beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, in Cook Inlet, Alaska, June 2005 to 2012. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-263, 122 p. (.pdf 4.67 MB).  Online.
     
  • FERGUSON, M. C., and J. T. CLARKE. 2013. Estimates of detection probability for BWASP bowhead whale, gray whale, and beluga sightings collected from Twin Otter and Aero Commander aircraft,1989 to 2007 and 2008 to 2011. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-261, 52 p. (.pdf, 906 KB).  Online.
     
  • BREIWICK, J. M. 2013. North Pacific marine mammal bycatch estimation methodology and results, 2007-2011. U. S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-260, 40 p. (.pdf, 817 KB).  Online.
     
  • PETERSON, M. J., F. MUETER, D. HANSELMAN, C. LUNSFORD, C. MATKIN, and H. FEARNBACH. 2013. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) depredation effects on catch rates of six groundfish species: Implications for commercial longline fisheries in Alaska. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 70:1220-1232. 
     
  • MacINTYRE, K. Q., K. M. STAFFORD, C. L. BERCHOK, and P. L. BOVENG. 2013. Year-round acoustic detection of bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) in the Beaufort Sea relative to changing environmental conditions, 2008-2010. Polar Biol. 36:1161-1173.  
     
  • Additional recent Cetacean Assessment & Ecology Program publications


Posters
  • Distribution of Sperm Whales from Soviet Catches in the North Pacific
    By:  YULIA V. IVASHCHENKO
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 3.88 MB)   Online.

     
  • Foraging and Prey Differences Between Populations of Bigg’s Killer Whales (Mammal-eating “Transients”) in the Western and Eastern Aleutian Islands
    By:  PAUL R. WADE, JOHN W. DURBAN, RUSS D. ANDREWS, DOUG G. BURROWS, DAVID ELLIFRIT, HOLLY FEARNBACH, KIM M. PARSONS, JANICE M. WAITE, GINA M. YLITALO
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 4.06 MB)   Online.

     
  • Spatio-temporal Distribution of Bowhead Whales off Barrow, AK 2007-2012
    By:  STEPHANIE GRASSIA, CATHERINE BERCHOK, KATE STAFFORD
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 4.46 MB)   Online.

     
  • Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) Haulouts Along the Northwestern Alaskan Coastline, Summer and Fall 2009-2013
    By:  CYNTHIA L. CHRISTMAN, AMELIA A. BROWER, MEGAN C. FERGUSON, JANET T. CLARKE
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 7.49 MB)   Online.

     
  • Gray Whale Calf Occurrence in the Alaskan Arctic, Summer and Fall 2013, with Comparisons to Previous Years
    By:  AMELIA BROWER, MEGAN FERGUSON, CYNTHIA CHRISTMAN, JANET CLARKE
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 2.17 MB)   Online.

     
  • Gray Whale Foraging Habits in the Alaskan Arctic, Summer and Fall 2009-2013
    By:  AMELIA BROWER, JANET CLARKE, MEGAN FERGUSON, CYNTHIA CHRISTMAN
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 14.7 MB)   Online.

     
  • Real-time Detection of Cook Inlet Beluga Whales for Military Mitigation
    By:  M. CASTELLOTE, D. GILLESPIE, A. MAGINNIS, C. GARNER, R. J. SMALL
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 8.1 MB)   Online.

     
  • Modeling Western Arctic Bowhead Whale High-use Areas in the Western Beaufort Sea, 2000-2013
    By:  MEGAN FERGUSON, JANET CLARKE, AMELIA BROWER, CYNTHIA CHRISTMAN
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 2.56 MB)   Online.

     
  • Spatio-temporal Distribution of Alaskan Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) Populations Based on Acoustic Monitoring (2014 version)
    By:  ELLEN C. GARLAND, CATHERINE L. BERCHOK, MANUEL CASTELLOTE
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 11.9 MB)   Online.

     
  • Passive Acoustic, Visual, and Satellite Telemetry Results From the First ARCWEST Cruise, 2013
    By:  Passive Acoustic, Visual, and Satellite Telemetry Results From the First ARCWEST Cruise, 2013, CATHERINE L. BERCHOK, STEPHANIE GRASSIA, ELIZA IVES, BRENDA RONE, AMY KENNEDY, JENNIFER GATZKE, ERNESTO VAZQUEZ MORQUECHO, NANCY FRIDAY, PHILLIP J. CLAPHAM
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 7.31 MB)   Online.

     
  • Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Fin Whales in the Bering Sea, 2007-2011
    By:  JESSICA L. THOMPSON, CATHERINE L. BERCHOK, SUE E. MOORE
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2013
    (2013 poster, .pdf, 2.17 MB)   Online.

     
  • Summer in the Western Beaufort Sea: Results from Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals, July and August, 2012
    By:  MEGAN FERGUSON, JANET CLARKE, REBECCA SHEA, AMELIA BROWER, CYNTHIA CHRISTMAN
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2013
    (2013 poster, .pdf, 864 KB)   Online.

     
  • Additional recent Cetacean Assessment & Ecology Program poster presentations



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