[MARMAM] New Publication

Nicola Quick, Ph.D. nicola.quick at duke.edu
Thu Mar 15 09:22:16 PDT 2018


My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of the following article:

Southall, B., Quick, N., Hastie, G., Tyack, P. And Boyd, I. (2017) Mitigation of harm during a novel behavioural reponse study involving active sonar and wild cetaceans. Journal of Ceatcean Research and Management 16: 29-38

Some studies of how human activities can affect wild free-ranging animals may be considered to have potential negative outcomes too severe to be
ethically studied. This creates a societal dilemma involving choices between continuing risky activities with high uncertainty about their potential
effects on wildlife, often with considerable associated precaution or undertaking focused research to reduce uncertainty, but with some risk of harm
from either strong response leading to potential stranding or direct physical injury from sound exposure. Recent and ongoing field experiments
have measured the conditions in which wild cetaceans respond to military sonar, and provided insight into the nature of responses. Here mitigation
measures are reported for one of the first such experiments designed to measure fine-scale behavioural responses to controlled exposures of mid frequency
(3-4 kHz) active sonar. The objective was to do so without causing the kinds of physical harm that have been previously observed (e.g.
stranding events) and that motivated the study. A critical goal of this experimental study was to identify a response that was safe but that could be
used as an indicator of the probability of risk from more extreme or sustained exposure from real military operations. A monitoring and mitigation
protocol was developed using a feedback control procedure for real-time mitigation of potential harm. Experimental protocols were modulated
relative to indicators of potential risk with the explicit objective of detecting potentially harmful consequences of sound exposure and taking
appropriate corrective action. Three categories of mitigation methods were developed and integrated within the experimental protocol incorporating
designed, engineered, and operational mitigation measures. Controlled exposure experiments involving free-ranging animals were conducted without
any evident harm to the experimental subjects, while successfully eliciting behavioural responses that provided meaningful results to inform
management decisions. This approach demonstrates the importance of careful design of protocols in exposure-response experiments, particularly
in pioneering studies assessing response where both the potential for harm and level of uncertainty may be high.
The publication can be found at the following link https://archive.iwc.int/pages/search.php?search=%21collection15&k=#<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.iwc.int_pages_search.php-3Fsearch-3D-2521collection15-26k-3D-23&d=DwMD-g&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=Fo8szEEp-5SMk-fagVoJKA&m=oXkIvEheOWvW20Afz_LFWsV7gLrELqngk80bkMou8Rc&s=hCGPLbWAKF8_eNHtrXnMy6K0icjFig4JH2QqUJGHcB4&e=>
Please contact me directly if you have any questions njq at duke.edu<mailto:njq at duke.edu>

Kind Regards

Dr Nicola J. Quick
Research Scientist
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke Marine Lab
135 Duke Marine Lab Road
NC 28516

njq at duke.edu<mailto:njq at duke.edu>

Honorary Research Fellow
School of Biology
Scottish Oceans Institute
University of St Andrews

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