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Serious injury determinations for small cetaceans and pinnipeds caught in commercial fisheries off the Northeast U.S. coast, 2007 - 2011
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  • Description:
    "The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) requires the National Marine Fisheries Service NMFS to estimate annual levels of human-caused mortality and serious injury to marine mammal stocks (section 117) and to categorize commercial fisheries based on their level of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals (section 118). Serious injury (SI) determinations were addressed at NMFS - convened workshops in 1997 and 2007 (Angliss and DeMaster 1998; Andersen et al. 2008), and in January 2012 the agency published new national guidelines for distinguishing serious from nonserious injuries of marine mammals (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/serious_injury_procedure.pdf ). A major goal of the new guidelines was to establish national consistency and transparency in SI determinations. To implement the new guidelines, Science Center SI determination staff (SID) were required to review the 5-year (2007 - 2011) observer (OBS) and at sea monitor (ASM) records on all incidentally caught marine mammals that were released alive. Observer comments on the condition of released animals were compared by taxonomic group (e.g., large whales, small cetaceans, and pinnipeds) to specific injury categories described in the procedure manual. Based on these reviews, each animal was assigned an injury determination. Once completed, the SI determination table was independently reviewed by another center's SID (e.g., Northeast Fisheries Science Center [NEFSC] determinations were sent to Southwest Fisheries Science Center [SWFSC]), and differences are subsequently revisited. The revised determinations were subsequently reviewed by regional Scientific Review Groups (SRG) at their annual meeting, and final determinations are published"--Introduction. [doi:10.7289/V5QN64QH (http://dx.doi.org/10.7289/V5QN64QH)]
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