Cooperative Dedicated Vessel Research Program: Research Related to the Tuna-Porpoise Problem: Summary of Research Results from the First Cruise of the Dedicated Vessel, 26 January - 16 March, 1978
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Cooperative Dedicated Vessel Research Program: Research Related to the Tuna-Porpoise Problem: Summary of Research Results from the First Cruise of the Dedicated Vessel, 26 January - 16 March, 1978
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Cooperative Dedicated Vessel Research Program: Research Related to the Tuna-Porpoise Problem: Summary of Research Results from the First Cruise of the Dedicated Vessel, 26 January - 16 March, 1978
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    Thousands of oceanic porpoise die annually incidentally in the course of purse seining for yellowfin tuna in the eastern tropical Pacific. Since the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972, there has been a significant reduction in this incidental mortality. However, the goal of the MMPA is to reduce incidental kill and serious injury to insignificant levels approaching a zero mortality and serious injury rate. Numerous research cruises undertaken since 1972, have contributed to the development of methods for reducing this incidental mortality* However, no single vessel had been designated to study and research this problem exclusively. During all of the previous research cruises aboard tuna purse seiners the research was secondary to the capture of tuna, because the incentive to allow the researchers to work aboard the tuna seiner was the opportunity to capture tuna within a closed area. For a number of years, it has been recognized that a vessel should be dedicated to do tuna/porpoise research without the pressure of fish capture to interfere with the research. During 1977 the United States Tuna Foundation offered to charter a tuna purse seiner for 1978 to be used exclusively for tuna/porpoise research. The Dedicated Vessel Program is a cooperative tuna/porpoise research program under the joint direction of the Marine Mammal Commission (MMC),The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the United States Tuna Foundation (USTF). The USTF has chartered a commercial tuna seiner, the M/V Queen Mary, for the calendar year, 1978, to be utilized as a platform for that research. NMFS, USTF, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the MMC are providing research funds and/or support. Proposals for relevant research are accepted from all interested persons and organizations.
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