Ship-based and aerial surveys are critical to achieving NMFS’ marine mammal and sea turtle population assessment goals, which include abundance estimation and examination of trends and human impacts relative to management objectives. A limited number of marine mammal and sea turtle-focused surveys are conducted and managed by the six NMFS Science Centers. These often involve more than one center, as well as internal and external collaborators. The number of protected species surveys conducted each year is dependent on funding and available ship time allocated at the national level.


Recent Marine mammal-related surveys conducted and/or participated in by NMFS:


For more information on surveys in which NMFS participates, see:

Bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) in the Arctic. Photo: Vicki Beaver, NOAA/AFSC. Permit: 782-1719.


NOAA Ship David Starr Jordan and a leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Photo: Jim Harvey, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.