The final report from the U.S. federal government's Interagency Task
Force on Anthropogenic Sound and the Marine
Environment, Addressing the Effects of Human-Generated
Sound on Marine Life: An Integrated Research Plan for U.S. Federal
Agencies, is now available. The
report's direct link is
The suggested reference for this report is:
Southall, B., Berkson, J., Bowen, D., Brake, R., Eckman, J., Field, J.,
Gisiner, R., Gregerson, S., Lang, W., Lewandoski, J., Wilson, J., and
Winokur, R. 2009. Addressing the Effects of Human-Generated Sound on
Marine Life: An Integrated Research Plan for U.S. federal agencies.
Interagency Task Force on Anthropogenic Sound and the Marine
Environment of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology.
Whether and how human-generated sounds in the ocean affect marine life
has become an issue of increasing awareness, within scientific and
regulatory circles as well as among the general public. Many activities
vital to our society, including the actions of many U.S. Federal
agencies, introduce sound into the marine environment. Consequently,
there is much interest and effort involved in understanding associated
environmental impacts and developing ways of minimizing them. A number
of U.S. Federal agencies are actively engaged in advancing the science
and technologies needed to address these challenging issues.
This report provides an explicit interagency roadmap for the next
decade to focus and prioritize research efforts addressing this issue.
It summarizes collective research efforts by U.S. Federal agencies in
several key areas and includes a number of specific and prioritized
research recommendations regarding future efforts, with particular
emphasis on interagency collaboration. Finally, it summarizes some
general coordinating actions and means of increasing the transparency
and public recognition of ongoing interagency efforts in this field.
The findings indicate that many of the challenging scientific,
regulatory, and legal issues regarding underwater sound can be
addressed with focused, prioritized, and sustained effort coordinated
among the U.S. Federal agencies. We hope it will be useful to a broad
range of interested parties.
Amy R. Scholik-Schlomer, Ph.D.
NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service
Office of Protected Resources
Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Conservation Division
1315 East-West Highway
SSMC III, Room 13605
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301) 713-2322 x167
Fax: (301) 427-2522