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Friday, August 28, 2015

Finally Some Real Research On The Death Of The Pacific May Occur

A friend sent this government notice at link.

Research would occur in U.S. waters and the high seas of the Pacific, 
Atlantic and Indian Oceans via vessel surveys targeting live cetaceans, 
tissue collection of dead, stranded cetaceans, and the import/export/
receipt of biological samples collected in foreign waters/countries. 
Field research activities on live animals would include collection of 
sloughed skin and feces, biopsy sampling, photo-identification, 
videography, passive acoustic recording, focal follows, behavioral 
observation, and breath sampling via a small unmanned aircraft system. 
The applicant requests to annually harass and sample the following 
species during vessel surveys as follows. In the North Atlantic: 150 
takes for the primary study species, sperm whales (Physeter 
macrocephalus); 30 takes for Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera brydei); 40 
takes for humpback whales 
 Harrassing Marine Mammals is covered under law, so they need to have a specific permit in order to do so.     This is the application for 5 years of testing.  

The applicant is a group called Ocean Alliance from Boston.

I left a message for Iain Kerr, who is president of that research company.    Lets see if he calls back.


Listed in the notice were 2 names for NOAA workers, who I called.    I spoke with Courtney, she sounded like she didn't often have the "general public" call in.     But she was courteous enough, although she encouraged me to read the whole application several times, so that she didn't have to "reconstruct" everything for me.

I mentioned that I was glad that people were starting to take research into the Pacific very seriously, and that was about time that we all get to the bottom of what is going with the death of the Pacific (didn't even get a response from dropping the D Bomb).  

I asked if he if Ocean Alliance had radiological capabilities, to which she said what is that?   I said do they have the ability to test for radiation, you know with gamma scint and geiger counters.   She said she didn't think so, and if it wasnt listed in the application they probably couldn't do it.  

I brought up that Fukushima initial releases and ongoing releases are coincidental with massive ocean species die offs and it should be suspected as a likely cause until ruled out or confirmed, and she agreed that in general "we should do more research".   

I asked her where the funding was coming from, NOAA or what, and she said the application was just for a permit, grant monies or donations were a different matter altogether.    I asked her if NOAA had money available for Marine research and she said it was just a matter of funding.

I came to understand that NOAA work in this regard was simply to publish the application for Marine Mammal harassment and taking permit.

I found another application for permit, mostly for the Pacific, and mostly to assess human activities effects on sea life, like Navy training, and off shore energy research and production.    Here.


  1. Holy Crow, Batman!

    "I asked if he if Ocean Alliance had radiological capabilities, to which she said what is that?"

    This is critical stuff. They must test for rads.

    1. "Written comments on this application should be submitted to the
      Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above.
      Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by
      email to Please include the File No. in the
      subject line of the email comment." File No. 18636

  2. my comment "Regarding File No. 18636

    With regards to:

    "environmental toxicants affect cetaceans and vary spatially and
    temporally across species; and determine the route of exposure."

    To take samples for testing of radiation contamination seems quite relevant and if no testing for radioisotopes is proposed in the applicant's research design, I encourage applicant and agency to ensure that statistically significant research is conducted to discover whether specimens test positive for man-made radiation and to what degree."


Insightful and Relevant if Irreverent Comments