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Project Information

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

Project Year and Number: 2008: 080804

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 2010: 10100804, 2009: 090804, 2007: 070804

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeep Rice, NOAA

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

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

Restoration Category: Research

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. 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.


Geographic Regions Prince William Sound
Southeast Alaska
Species Fish - Forage fish
Fish - Herring
Marine Mammals - Cetaceans (whales, dolphin, porpoises)
Marine Mammals - Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, walrus)
Fields of Expertise Bio-Energetics
Management & Policy
Population Biology
Technological Methods Acoustics/hydroacoustics
Calorimetric Analysis
Fatty Acid Analysis
Geographic information systems/Mapping
Professional Activity Field research and Data Collection
Fishery management
Ecosystems Marine – Benthic
Marine – Nearshore
Marine – Pelagic
Species Specific Research Issues Fish - Distribution and abundance
Fish - Ecosystems indicators
Fish - Predator-prey interactions
Macro-invertebrates - Predator-prey interactions
Marine Mammals - Distribution and abundance
Marine Mammals - Foraging ecology
Marine Mammals - Predator-prey interactions

Proposal: View PDF (408 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2008

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2008

Annual Report: 2008: View (873 KB)

Final Report: See Project 2141

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
2010: 10100804 View (PDF) 2010: View (PDF)
View No datasets
2009: 090804 View (PDF) 2009: View (PDF)
See Project 10100804 See Project 10100804
2007: 070804 View (PDF) 2007: View (PDF)
See Project 10100804 See Project 10100804