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Project Information

Title: Significance of Whale Predation On Natural Mortality Rate of Pacific Herring in Prince William Sound - Close Out

Project Year and Number: 2010: 10100804

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 2009: 090804, 2008: 080804, 2007: 070804

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeep Rice, NOAA/NMFS Auke Bay Laboratory

Assisting Personnel: Ron Heintz, Kate McLaughlin, John Moran, Terry Quinn, Jan Straley

Research Location: Prince William Sound, Sitka Sound, and southern Lynn Canal

Restoration Category: Monitoring

Injured Resources Addressed: Pacific Herring

Abstract: Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) in Prince William Sound (PWS) have been classified as "not-recovered" by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Predation by marine mammals has been cited as a factor in the failure of this population to rebound. We will assess the significance of humpback whale predation on herring in PWS, particularly in winter. Specifically we will estimate the number of whales foraging in winter, determine when and if there is a prey switch to herring, and how long whales focus on herring as prey. Year one was funded, small in scale with an intense monitoring strategy; year 2 would expand the scale up in area significantly. Year 3 will verify the impact on herring of the high numbers of humpback whales we observed in PWS during year 2. These data will be combined in a bioenergetic model to determine numbers of herring consumed (and energy content consumed). Lastly, the estimated numbers of herring consumed would be included in an age-structured model so that the significance of whale predation on herring recovery can be evaluated. Year 4 (2010) will close out the project with the completion of analysis, reports, and manuscripts.


Geographic Regions Prince William Sound
Species Fish - Herring
Marine Mammals - Cetaceans (whales, dolphin, porpoises)
Fields of Expertise Management & Policy
Population Biology
Technological Methods Acoustics/hydroacoustics
Calorimetric Analysis
Fatty Acid Analysis
Tissue sampling/biopsy
Professional Activity Data Synthesis/Visualization
Ecosystems Marine – Pelagic
Species Specific Research Issues Fish - Population dynamics
Fish - Predator-prey interactions
Marine Mammals - Foraging ecology
Marine Mammals - Predator-prey interactions
Marine Mammals - Tracking, tagging, and survey methods

Proposal: View PDF (745 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2010

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2010

Annual Report: 2010: View (18 KB)

Final Report: View

Publications from this Project: None Available

More information may be available for this project under other years:

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Project Number Proposal Annual Reports Final Report Data
2009: 090804 View (PDF) 2009: View (PDF)
See Project 10100804 See Project 10100804
2008: 080804 View (PDF) 2008: View (PDF)
See Project 10100804 See Project 10100804
2007: 070804 View (PDF) 2007: View (PDF)
See Project 10100804 See Project 10100804