Project: Ice-associated Seal Ecology
The Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Marine Mammal Laboratory conducted an ice-associated seal research survey in the central Bering Sea from April 2-29, 2016 aboard the NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson. The species studied included ribbon, spotted, bearded and ringed seals. A key objective was to attach satellite-linked tags on ribbon and spotted seals, which spend time either on or in the proximity of sea-ice during this time of year. Scientists plan to use data collected from the satellite-linked tags, together with information collected during similar surveys since 2005, to learn more about the timing of when these seals "haul out," that is come out of the water onto the ice. This information is critical for calculating abundance estimates from aerial surveys. Scientists also hope to learn more about dive behavior and seasonal movements (useful in identifying important habitat). For more information, visit http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Science_blog/IceSealEcology_main.htm
Note: This information is provided for general information about current NOAA ship and aircraft projects. Project start and end dates are based on the FY17 Fleet Allocation Plan and are subject to change. They do not necessarily reflect actual ship and aircraft schedules.