Marine Mammals : Expert Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 8

Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California (2009)

Drakes Estero, 25 miles northwest of San Francisco, is a marine estuary home to harbor seals, waterfowl, fish, and other marine organisms. Congress designated the estuary a Potential Wilderness in 1976, signifying the intention to incorporate the area into an existing Wilderness area in Point Reyes National Seashore. Drakes Estero is also the site of commercial oyster farming since the 1930s, and Drakes Bay Oyster Company continues to operat... More >>

Marine Mammal Populations and Ocean Noise: Determining When Noise Causes Biologically Significant Effects (2005)

Due to a series of marine mammal strandings, lawsuits, and legislative hearings, and most recently, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy report, attention has been drawn to the subject of how ocean noise affects marine mammals. One way to assess the impact of ocean noise is to consider whether it causes changes in animal behavior that are "biologically significant"--those that affect an animal's ability to grow, survive, o... More >>

Ocean Noise and Marine Mammals (2003)

For the 119 species of marine mammals, as well as for some other aquatic animals, sound is the primary means of learning about their environment and of communicating, navigating, and foraging. Ambient noise and its potential impacts have been regulated since the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972; however, public awareness of the issue has escalated in the past decade when researchers began using high-intensity sound to measur... More >>

Report in Brief

The Decline of the Steller Sea Lion in Alaskan Waters: Untangling Food Webs and Fishing Nets (2003)

The Alaskan population of Steller sea lions has declined more than 80 percent in the last 30 years. Large-scale fishing effects on the food supply of Alaska's Steller sea lions do not appear to be the main reason for their current, continuing decline. This report concluded that a combination of other possible factors, including entanglement or injury by fishing gear, illegal shooting, predation by killer whales, subsistence harvesting, an... More >>

Report in Brief

Science and Its Role in the National Marine Fisheries Service (2002)

The mission of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is to manage U.S. marine fisheries so they can serve the nation now and benefit future generations. As NMFS manages marine fisheries, it operates under a complex set of laws. Based in part on its concerns over the dramatic increase in recent lawsuits against NMFS, Congress requested in 2001 that the National Academies provide "a summary review of the adequacy of the data... More >>