[MARMAM] New Publication: Sperm Whale Acoustic Prey Study (SWAPS)

Glenn, Tre tre.glenn at boem.gov
Thu Dec 20 21:05:42 PST 2018

Dear Colleagues,

BOEM is pleased to announce the following study, Sperm Whale Acoustic Prey
Study (SWAPS).


The goal of the Sperm Whale Prey Acoustic Study (SWAPS) was to characterize
the prey field available to sperm whales in the Northern Gulf and assess
the spatial and vertical distribution of prey in mesopelagic waters at
depths between 300–800 m. BOEM partnered with the National Marine Fisheries
Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center to conducted large vessel
surveys in the Northern Gulf of Mexico during summer 2009 and winter-spring
2010. Concurrent marine mammal surveys and midwater trawl sampling
demonstrated strong associations between mesoscale physical features, sperm
whales, and their prey. Squid from 32 taxa were collected, and 536
individuals were processed for stable isotope analysis of carbon and
nitrogen. Overall, the results suggest an ontogenetic change in stable
isotope values consistent with increasing trophic level of squids over the
course of their life history. However, squids with mantle lengths between
31 and 150 mm were found to be the sperm whale’s dominant prey, likely
because these smaller squids are more abundant and easier to capture.

Donald (Tre) W. Glenn, III, Ph.D., P.E., CFM
Senior Protected Species Biologist
Consultation Specialist
Professional Environmental Engineer
Contracting Officer's Representative III
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
1201 Elmwood Park Blvd.
New Orleans, Louisiana  70123
tre.glenn at boem.gov
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