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Research Priorities and Needs
for Protected Resources in the Greater Atlantic Region

Marine Mammals

Right Whales (Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies)

Harbor Porpoise (NOAA, Southwest Fisheries Science Center)

Take Reduction Plans

Section 118 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act mandates the formation of Take Reduction Teams (TRTs) to address the serious injury and mortality of strategic marine mammal stocks that are incidentally captured in commercial fishing gear. TRTs are groups of stakeholders that develop strategies to reduce these interactions. These strategies are provided through recommendations to NOAA Fisheries Service and are implemented through Take Reduction Plans (TRPs). TRPs may include regulations and are often accompanied by non-regulatory conservation measures, such as outreach and gear research projects.

The Greater Atlantic Region PRD has implemented the following TRPs: Atlantic Large Whale, Harbor Porpoise, and Atlantic Trawl Gear. Each has its own associated research needs and priorities, which include biological as well as gear research needs, to support efforts to reduce incidental interactions with fishing gear.

Pilot Whales (NOAA, Northeast Fisheries Science Center)




Additional Program Priorities

Humpback Whale and Whale Watching Vessel (NOAA)

The Marine Mammal Program understands the need and importance of providing the public with outreach and educational materials that promote on-the-water stewardship and protection of living marine resources, particularly marine mammals. As such, one component of the Marine Mammal Program involves providing guidance to the public for responsible marine mammal viewing, which includes whale, dolphin, and seal watching, as well as tips for recreational boaters and fishermen, which include guidance for responsible boating and responsible recreational fishing.

While there are programs and educational materials available to assist in these efforts, priorities for research in furtherance of these efforts are provided here.