Pinniped and cetacean oil spill response guidelines
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Pinniped and cetacean oil spill response guidelines
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  • Description:
    "When oil spills occur in the marine environment, many species of wildlife in that ecosystem may be either directly or indirectly impacted. The impacts of spilled oil on birds have long been known (Jessup and Leighton, 1996 ; Leighton, 1993), with effects ranging from slight fouling requiring no treatment to acute mortality from hypothermia to acute/chronic toxicity from ingested petroleum. To help mitigate these impacts, significant investments have been made to develop protocols for the capture and care of avian species (Massey, 2006; Mazet et al., 2002; Tseng, 1999). While potentially less prevalent than birds during oil spills, marine mammals are also at risk from these incidents in coastal and offshore waters. Thus, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Office of Protected Resources (OPR), Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP) has developed guidelines to direct and inform response activities for pinnipeds and cetaceans guidelines that align themselves with response actions being taken for other wildlife species at risk. The first comprehensive set of Marine Mammal Oil Spill Response Guidelines (Guidelines) was created in 2006 (Johnson and Ziccardi, 2006) and brought together the experience and research to that point. The Macondo 252/Deepwater Horizon Spill (DWH) in 2010 was the first significant oil spill to utilize these Guidelines as the blueprint for how to organize the response to oiled marine mammals; the present document revises the original Guidelines to represent the lessons learned from that response, as well as information gleaned from other more recent responses and drills"--Chapter 1, paragraph 1.
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