[MARMAM] New publication: Exposure and behavioural responses of tagged bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) to vessels in the Pacific Arctic

Morgan J. Martin mjmartin at sandiego.edu
Thu Apr 27 06:48:18 PDT 2023


On behalf of my coauthors, I am happy to share the link to an open-access
paper we published today in* Arctic Science*:

Martin, M.J., Halliday, W.D., Citta, J.J., Quakenbush, L., Harwood, L.,
Lea, E.V., Dawson, J., Nicoll, A., Insley, S.J. (2023) Exposure and
behavioural responses of tagged bowhead whales (*Balaena mysticetus*) to
vessels in the Pacific Arctic. *Arctic Scienc*e. e-First:

Link to the freely downloadable paper: https://doi.org/10.1139/AS-2022-0052

Arctic marine mammals face many challenges linked to climate change,
including increasing anthropogenic noise from vessel traffic. The bowhead
whale (*Balaena mysticetus* Linnaeus, 1758), an Arctic endemic cetacean,
relies on acoustic communication, with documented overlapping frequencies
between communication and vessel noise. Bering–Chukchi–Beaufort (BCB)
bowhead whales migrate through areas with the highest levels of vessel
traffic in the Pacific Arctic. Here, we document the spatial and temporal
overlap between 25 satellite-tagged BCB bowhead whales and vessels during
July–December, 2012–2018. We report 1332 occasions when a vessel was within
125 km of a tagged whale, and where possible, quantified changes in swim
speed to investigate individual behavioural responses to vessel approaches
within a 50 km radius (n = 18 encounters). In the quantitative analysis,
bowhead whales were not observed to alter swim speed within 8–50 km of
vessels (we could not assess distances <8 km). Our results suggest that
bowhead whales did not exhibit detectable long-range (i.e., up to 50 km)
behavioural responses to vessels, consistent with observations of closely
related North Atlantic right whales (*Eubalaena glacialis*
(Muller, 1776)), for which vessel strikes are a leading cause of mortality.
More work is required to assess how bowhead whales react to vessels at
closer distances.

Please check out this website for a list of additional publications on our
research on marine mammals and noise in the Arctic:

Please feel free to email me for a pdf copy of our new paper if you have
issues accessing the link. mjmartin at sandiego.edu

Morgan J. Martin, PhD
Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
University of Victoria, B.C., Canada
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20230427/fa6552e1/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list