Subject: Info: ATOC and humpbacks Press Release

Michael Williamson (whe_william)
Mon, 6 Dec 1995 20:15:49

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Info: ATOC and humpbacks Press Release
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From:         Susie Pike <>
Subject:      ATOC Press Release
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REGARDING                ATOC Press Release
The following is the latest press release issued by Scripps Institution of
Oceanography regarding the ATOC Project.  If you need any additional
information, contact the ATOC Project Office at (619) 534-8765, or send mail
Susie Pike
ATOC Project Office
Dec. 1, 1995
National Marine Fisheries Service Clears Way
For Start of ATOC Marine Mammal Research Program
        Officials with the National Marine Fisheries Service have reported
that they believe it is unlikely that the deaths of three humpback whales
off Half Moon Bay, Calif., are linked to acoustic engineering tests
conducted as part of Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Acoustic
Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) program and have authorized the project
to start operations.
        The California Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP) component of the
project, intended to study whether underwater sound signals might have any
adverse impact on marine mammals, was scheduled to begin Nov. 9.  Upon
learning a humpback whale had been discovered dead in the region, however,
project scientists placed the program on hold as a precautionary measure
while seeking advice from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and
the MMRP Advisory Board.
        Following an extensive review, NMFS officials stated in a letter
dated Nov. 30 that "the Scripps Institution of Oceanography may proceed
with initiation of the MMRP." Accordingly, the program is to start as soon
as weather permits.
        Based on available data, the National Marine Fisheries' Southwest
Region Office (NMFS-SWR) in Long Beach, Calif., was unable to determine the
cause of the death of the three whales, which were discovered in the San
Francisco area between Nov. 4 and Nov. 9. However, agency officials said they
did not believe tests of the ATOC sound source were responsible for the whale