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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-300

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Human-caused injury and mortality of NMFS-managed Alaska Marine Mammal stocks, 2009-2013

Abstract

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is required under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to estimate the annual human-caused mortality and serious injury of marine mammal stocks by source. Revisions to NMFS’ guidelines and methods for distinguishing serious from non-serious injuries pursuant to the MMPA were implemented in 2013. Data from documented interactions between humans and Alaska pinnipeds and cetaceans under the jurisdiction of the NMFS were compiled for the 5-year period from 2009 through 2013. Details regarding each human-marine mammal interaction were reviewed for evidence of human-caused injury or mortality, and criteria were applied in order to assign injuries to categories and determine the severity (serious or non-serious). A total of 603 unique interactions with potential evidence of human-caused injury and mortality were closely reviewed and are summarized in this report. Injury determination details regarding the injury source, type, and severity are presented, along with the injury category and criteria supporting the determination. Mortality and injury values were assigned (0, 1, or prorated) to each event for comparison with the calculated Potential Biological Removal levels for each stock.  


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