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Report of the Workshop on Assessing the Cumulative Impacts of ...

Report of the Workshop on Assessing the Cumulative Impacts of ...

ii okeanos - Stiftung

ii okeanos - Stiftung für das Meer Telefon +49- 6151-918 20 23 Auf der Marienhöhe 15 Telefax +49- 6151-918 20 19 D-64297 Darmstadt mail@okeanos-stiftung.org www.okeanos-stiftung.org!

iii Prologue By Dieter Paulmann As part ong>ofong> our ongoing work on ong>theong> impacts ong>ofong> anthropogenic (human-made) noise on marine mammals, Okeanos – Stiftung für das Meer (Foundation for ong>theong> Sea), has held a number ong>ofong> international, multi-disciplinary workshops to investigate and address various aspects ong>ofong> ong>theong> issue. These workshops have produced discussions that have been both ground-breaking and bridgebuilding. Scientists from a diversity ong>ofong> disciplines (ranging from biologists to engineers) and policy makers have reached out to each oong>theong>r and advanced not only ong>theong> science, but established valuable connections and also expanded ong>theong> range ong>ofong> possible management mechanisms available to address underwater noise. One important ong>theong>me to emerge over ong>theong> course ong>ofong> ong>theong>se workshops is that noise does not act in a vacuum. It affects species that are already facing a variety ong>ofong> oong>theong>r anthropogenic pressures, including contaminants, fisheries and, ong>ofong> course, climate change. Noise can also interact with ong>theong>se stressors in ways that may endanger ong>theong>m furong>theong>r. Appropriate management ong>ofong> cumulative stressors has been lacking partly because many legal systems act on a project-by-project basis. By ong>theong> same token, scientists are only just beginning to investigate how stressors interact to affect individuals and ultimately populations. The issue is complicated furong>theong>r with respect to ong>theong> management ong>ofong> cumulative impacts in marine mammal populations as data for ong>theong>se inaccessible animals are limited in any case. Seeking to find a route forward to more appropriate and comprehensive management techniques for assessing cumulative impacts ong>ofong> noise and oong>theong>r stressors in marine mammals, Okeanos held anoong>theong>r workshop in Monterey, California, from 26-29 August, 2009, to investigate ong>theong> possibilities. Participants were carefully selected from disciplines as diverse as bioacoustics, management practice and network ong>theong>ory, and focus was placed upon free-flowing discussions, as this has proven highly successful in previous meetings. Specifically, participants were asked to consider three approaches to ong>theong> problem: how currently available tools for regionally mapping anthropogenic pressures on ong>theong> environment could be applied to ong>theong> management ong>ofong> species; how ong>theong> reported consequences ong>ofong> exposure to ong>theong>se pressures in marine mammals and ong>theong>ir known interactions on an individual could be modelled; and how population modelling could best include cumulative impact assessment. Promisingly, participants felt that ong>theong> three approaches could all be fulfilled in at least two data-rich populations – souong>theong>rn resident killer whales and North Atlantic right whales – and that ong>theong> examples produced by this effort could ong>theong>n be used to inform management decisions for less-studied species, perhaps based on information about exposure to noise and oong>theong>r stressors alone. What follows is a report ong>ofong> ong>theong>se discussions, in an unconventional form. The participants ong>ofong> ong>theong> workshop felt that ong>theong>y had a unique opportunity to contribute ong>theong>ir combined expertise through timely comments to ong>theong> new U.S. Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force 1 and by ong>ofong>fering suggestions on marine spatial planning, one ong>ofong> ong>theong> options under discussion that could substantially advance ong>theong> management ong>ofong> cumulative impacts. The Task Force is, at time ong>ofong> writing, working to construct a new National Policy for ong>theong> Oceans, Coasts, and ong>theong> Great Lakes. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 On June 12, 2009, President Obama sent a memorandum to ong>theong> heads ong>ofong> executive departments and federal agencies establishing an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by ong>theong> White House Council on Environmental Quality. The Task Force is charged with developing a recommendation for a national policy that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration ong>ofong> oceans, our coasts and ong>theong> Great Lakes. okeanos - Stiftung für das Meer Telefon +49- 6151-918 20 23 Auf der Marienhöhe 15 Telefax +49- 6151-918 20 19 D-64297 Darmstadt mail@okeanos-stiftung.org www.okeanos-stiftung.org!

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