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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-354

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Human-caused mortality and injury of NMFS-managed Alaska marine mammal stocks, 2011-2015

Abstract

Section 117 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) requires the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to estimate human-caused marine mammal mortality and serious injury. Data from documented interactions between human activities and pinnipeds or cetaceans belonging to stocks which appear in the Alaska Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports (SARs) were compiled for the 5-year period from 2011 through 2015. A total of 839 unique interactions with potential evidence of human-caused mortality or injury were reviewed and are summarized in this report. Details regarding each interaction were assessed for evidence of human-caused injury to the marine mammal. Injury severity determinations were made for those injuries likely to be human-caused. Injury determination details regarding the injury source, type, severity, and criteria supporting the determination are presented in the appendices. Records of mortality are also included in this report, and assigned to source. Mortality and injury values were assigned to each interaction for comparison with the potential biological removal (PBR) levels for each stock calculated under the MMPA and appearing within the Alaska SARs. The mortality and serious injury values included in this report are derived solely from documented interactions. Since not all human-caused mortality and serious injury to marine mammals is documented, this report represents a minimum count of human-caused mortality and serious injury to Alaska marine mammal stocks.




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