[MARMAM] SOCAL-10 Behavioral Response Study

Brandon Southall Brandon.Southall at sea-inc.net
Fri Aug 20 13:20:27 PDT 2010

MARMAM followers,

Please note the following information about a behavioral response study 
about to begin in southern California to study diving, foraging, and 
vocal behavior in various marine mammals and their responses to 
controlled sound exposures. This project, called SOCAL-10, will focus on 
various mysticete and odontocete cetaceans, and is intended to provide 
both baseline and experimental data relevant to understanding how marine 
mammals may be affected by human sounds, with a particular focus on 
mid-frequency military sonar signals. SOCAL-10 is an interdisciplinary 
collaboration of experts in marine mammal biology and behavior with 
extensive field experience in safely measuring responses to controlled 
sound exposures (please see the links below for a full list of 
participants and sponsors). This project will take place during August 
and September 2010 in coastal areas from San Diego to Santa Barbara and 
the Channel Islands, as well as an offshore area on and around the U.S. 
Navy’s training range near San Clemente Island. It is being conducted 
under NMFS permit # 14534, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary 
permit #2010-004, and a federal consistency determination (CD-29-10) 
from the California Coastal Commission.

For more information on the project, please go to 
<www.sea-inc.net/SOCAL10> where you will find:

- A one-page overview, slightly more detailed summary, and frequently 
asked questions about the project 

- An even more detailed summary of the project with additional 
references and connections to other work 

- A slide presentation discussing the objectives, experimental design, 
protocols, and other information about SOCAL-10 
<http://www.sea-inc.net/resources/SOCAL10_overview.pdf>. A video version 
of this presentation being explained will be available shortly as well.

- Links to other information, including a from-the-field blog on the 
project that will begin around the beginning of the project on 22 August 

*SOCAL-10 Project Overview*
SOCAL-10 is the first phase of a multi-year effort (~2010-2015), 
notionally referred to as SOCAL-BRS (Behavioral Response Study). This 
research collaboration is designed to increase understanding of marine 
mammal behavior and reactions to sound. Direct, scientific information 
about these responses to different human sounds is very limited, but 
critically needed by both regulatory agencies to support informed 
conservation management decisions and requirements and militaries for 
effective operational planning to minimize environmental risk. This 
project extends previous BRS efforts conducted in the Bahamas and 
Mediterranean Sea in 2007-2009 and is being coordinated with related and 
successful field efforts (e.g., population surveys of Navy range areas, 
satellite tagging before active sonar operations) underway in southern 
California. SOCAL- 10 will use controlled exposure experiments (CEE) to 
carefully measure behavioral responses of individual animals to sound 
exposure. It is part of an integrated, international effort using 
similar experimental approaches and observational tracking of animals 
during real activities. Each method has pros and cons, but a 
comprehensive approach is proving useful in addressing difficult 
questions. Project participants have presented and discussed SOCAL-10 in 
over a dozen public events thusfar and the project will remain committed 
to open, transparent, and timely communication of results both with the 
general public and with military and regulatory agencies.

Thanks for your interest and I encourage you to track our progress on 
the project blog.

Brandon Southall
SOCAL-10 chief scientist on behalf of our co-PIs and other SOCAL-10 team 

Brandon L. Southall, Ph.D.
President, Senior Scientist, SEA, Inc.
Research Associate, University of California, Santa Cruz
911 Center Street, Suite B, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
831.427.9529 (office); 831.427.9542 (fax)
Brandon.Southall at sea-inc.net; www.sea-inc.net 

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