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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and its precursors the Minerals Management Service and the Bureau of Land Management funded or conducted the Bowhead Whale Aerial Survey Project (BWASP) aerial surveys each year from 1979 to 2010. Throughout its existence, the BWASP surveys targeted the autumn migration of bowhead whales through the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, although line transect data on all marine mammals sighted were collected. Survey protocols remained consistent from 1982-2010. Starting in 2007, BWASP was funded by MMS, now BOEM, and coordinated through MML. BWASP is now part of the Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals (ASAMM) project, which is funded in part by BOEM.


The Chukchi Sea Planning Area (CSPA) in the northeastern Chukchi Sea was surveyed for marine mammals by Minerals Management Service (MMS)-supported contractors during many summers between 1979 and 1991. No broad-scale marine mammal aerial surveys were conducted in this region between 1991 and 2008. Starting in 2008, a project referred to as COMIDA (Chukchi Offshore Monitoring in Drilling Area), funded by MMS (now BOEM), began conducting broad-scale aerial surveys for marine mammals in the CSPA. This project is now part of the ASAMM project. COMIDA was designed to monitor marine mammal distribution, relative density, and behavior during the open-water (ice-free) months, from mid-June or early July to the end of October.

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