Greetings from the President
I was invited to attend the UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancun, Mexico in December 2016. This is the first time that the Society for Marine Mammalogy has been invited to send a representative to the thirteenth high-level meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-13) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Convention is a multi-national treaty with 168 signatory countries (not the U.S., but most others) and originated at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Mexico was the host country, and I was invited by their Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, who attended our last biennial to receive the SMM Conservation Merit Prize for his contributions to vaquita conservation. The theme of COP-13 was “mainstreaming” biodiversity protection. If you don’t know what that means, you are not alone. I had to look it up. In this context, mainstreaming means expanding considerations of biodiversity from a country’s Ministry of Environment into other ministerial-level sectors, including fisheries, agriculture, forestry and tourism. Since environmental ministries typically have very little power, this process is viewed as a way to enhance biodiversity protection by involving more powerful people. The high-level (ministerial-level) meeting was attended by several hundred representatives from all over the world and, for the first time, included Ministers of these other sectors. This two-day meeting was followed by two weeks of working meetings with 10,000 attendees reporting on progress and generating reports.
The CBD has been criticized as being yet another example of a well-meaning but largely ineffectual multi-national treaty. The CBD goals are not binding, and reporting is clearly biased. I listened to the Fisheries Ministers of several of several countries (with poor records of regulating illegal fishing) boast about their progress in preserving biodiversity. However, I did witness how this Convention can be effective. There are two very deep human traits that result in some progress: people like to herald their successes and they do not wish to be left out of having those successes. These biennial meetings provide a forum for countries to brag about what they are doing, and Ministers are thereby motivated to do things and to out-do each other. At COP-13, the Ministers from Mexico, Canada, and Cambodia all announced the creation of large new protected areas. Even if this doesn’t happen on such a large scale, Ministers need some progress to report at these meetings. Memos are sent down the chain-of-command, demanding lists of accomplishments and reminding other government officials that concerns about biodiversity exist in their governments. Progress is slow and the CBD has not stopped the worldwide loss of biodiversity. However I came away from the meeting convinced that the interactions required of the meeting, both within and between countries, can contribute positively to that process.
| From the Conference Committee
2017: A Marine Mammal Odyssey, Eh!
October 22nd-27th, 2017 // Workshops October 28th-29th
2017 is finally here and what an odyssey it’s been thus far! As many of you now know, the 22nd Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia this year, and as 2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday, we’re rolling out the red and white carpet! Halifax is a perfect place to host this globally significant event and our team has been preparing a program full of thought-provoking science and fun events to help give you a truly Canadian Maritimer experience. From our own SMM “Kitchen Party” to a Canadian celebration event to a Halloween themed masquerade ball with special guests, this conference is not to be missed!
OK. Down to business.
If you’re interested in submitting an abstract or workshop proposal, the submission deadline is online by 12 (noon) ADT on March 29th, 2017.
Successful workshop applicants will be informed on May 19th, 2017, while successful abstract authors will be notified on June 5th, 2017. For more information on submitting an abstract or workshop proposal, be sure to check out our conference resources:
Remember, this year we are offering an exciting new presentation format for you to choose from – video presentations! Utilizing video for presentations allows you to combine your scientific and creative talents in a new and exciting way while providing a bridge between science and art. Instructions, examples and tips can be found on the conference website and we encourage you to try it.
Conference registration is now open and early bird registration will be in effect until 12 (noon) ADT on July 12th, 2017. So, if you’re planning on coming to Halifax this fall, be sure to register early to get the best rates.
Last but not least, we’ve launched our new conference Facebook and Twitter accounts for Tonya and Hilary Plan SMM2017! Be sure to check out our handle (@TnHplanSMM2017) and follow our journey through the joys of conference planning, as well as for important updates, reminders and shenanigans. We’ve also started a conference hashtag: #SMM2017. Be sure to tag your photos and posts to let us know what you’re up to and what we can expect from you this fall.
We look forward to seeing everyone this fall in Canada’s Ocean Playground!
Your conference and scientific program committee co-chairs –
Tonya Wimmer & Hilary Moors-Murphy
Sofie Van Parijs & Damian Lidgard
2019 Conference News
by D. Ann Pabst
In 2019, the Society for Marine Mammalogy and the European Cetacean Society will jointly host the 2nd World Marine Mammal Science Conference in Europe. We will soon be sending out more information regarding this exciting event.
From the Awards Committee
by Lindsay Porter
Rachel Racicot won the John E. Heyning (JEH) Award for her proposal “Predicting hearing sensitivities of beaked whales using inner ear morphology.” The JEH Award is given to the best proposal received from an established researcher to investigate any area of cetacean integrative biology that relates diverse aspects of biology within an evolutionary context. Rachel visited the San Diego Museum of Natural History and scanned fossils from the paleontology collection. She will also select and scan osteological specimens from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles within the next few weeks. Rachel has sent us a narwhal inner ear scan to demonstrate her technique. This project will be completed by the end of 2017.
3D Isosurface rendering of a Monodon monoceros tympanoperiotic with the endocast of the inner ear labyrinths rendered in blue and tympanoperiotic rendered at 50% transparency with cream coloration.
From the Conservation Committee: Vaquita News
by Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho and Barbara Taylor
Despite serious efforts by the government of Mexico that warranted the Society’s first Conservation Merit Prize, vaquitas have continued to decline at a high rate. Papers describing the decline from 2011-2015 and the 2015 abundance estimate are now published and available by OpenAccess. The recovery team (CIRVA—Comité Internacional para la Recuperación de la Vaquita) reiterated the need for gillnets to be permanently banned (including all gillnets within the range of vaquitas including the fishery for the totoaba’s smaller cousin, the corvina).
After reviewing both the acoustic monitoring results that estimate numbers declined from 60 in 2015 to 30 in 2016 and the finding of many nets in the derelict gear removal program (details in the full report here) the team recommended accelerating attempts to place some vaquitas into a temporary sanctuary. The team noted that the capture of all remaining vaquitas is not a viable conservation strategy for vaquitas, which must, first and foremost, be protected in their wild habitat. They noted that activities to remove some vaquitas should not divert effort and resources away from extension and enforcement of the gillnet ban, which remains the highest-priority conservations actions for the species.
A coalition was formed called VaquitaCPR (details here) and despite not yet having sufficient funds, they are targeting October 2017 as the month to attempt capture. The continued campaign by Sea Shepherd’s Operation Milagro (here) is reporting high levels of illegal activities. These activities peaked last year during the corvina season, which was recently suspended by SEMARNAT because of lacking approved Environmental Impact Statements. No announcements have been made about continuing the 2-year gillnet ban set to expire this April. Very recently the Mexican Congress, in agreement with CIRVA recommendations, reformed the Federal Penal Code and the Federal Law Against Organized Crime to sanction with imprisonment and economic fines the illegal capture of several aquatic species, including the totoaba, considered more valuable than cocaine. The document imposes sentences of two to 18 years in prison and criminally penalizes anyone who catches, alters, collects, transports or damages totoabas.
From the International Relations Committee
by Giuseppe Notarbartolo DiSciara
We are bracing for the flood of Travel Grant applications which will arrive after the abstract submission deadline. As we did for the last Biennial, we will assess the applications to ensure that they comply with the criteria that were successfully tested two years ago. We hope that there will be money to support a significant fraction of the applicants, as happened for San Francisco.
Our Committee experienced several changes this quarter. Sadly, Alexey Yablokov passed away. Matt Leslie, who was a student member, graduated and was replaced by Amalia Albernini. We are pleased that Asha de Vos and Gill Braulik joined the Committee. The additional members have improved the Committee’s geographic representation and gender ratio.
From the Scientific Advisory Committee
by Doug Wartzok
Eligible researchers* are encouraged to view the Society’s Small Grants in Aid of Research page (https://www.marinemammalscience.org/jobs-grants/grants-in-aid-of-research-information/) to prepare for the 2017 proposal submission window of 1–30 June 2017. New examples of winning proposals from the 2016 competition have been posted.
*Applicants must meet all three of the following eligibility requirements:
1. Be a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy
2. Be a national of an International Monetary Fund (IMF)-defined country with a developing economy (preference is given to early career researchers such as students and researchers with less than 5 years post-doctoral experience)
3. Be conducting research in an IMF-defined country with a developing economy
From the Student Affairs Committee
by Sarah Kienle and Laura Feyrer
Tilen Genov, who is working on his Ph.D. at the University of St Andrews, joined the Committee. He is a welcome addition to the team, which is cooking up some new student activities for the SMM conference in Halifax. We are also interested in student input on discussion topics for the workshop, so please send your ideas on what we should be talking about to SMAL@marinemammalscience.org.
From the Taxonomy Committee: Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale being considered for endangered status
by Patricia Rosel
On September 18, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service received a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council to list the Gulf of Mexico population of Bryde’ s whale as an endangered species. The agency conducted a status review to provide information for determining whether the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale was threatened or endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. The SMM Committee on Taxonomy was consulted by the Status Review team, and we provided expert opinion on the taxonomic status of these whales, concluding they likely represented at least a separate subspecies of Bryde’s whale. The best available scientific evidence indicates these whales constitute a genetically distinct lineage of the globally distributed Bryde’s whale complex, are likely a single population of fewer than 100 individuals with a limited distribution in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. The NMFS determined Bryde’s whales in the Gulf of Mexico warrant listing as endangered and a proposed rule to list them as endangered was published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2016. The public comment period was to close on February 6, 2017 but was extended through February 23.
The status review document can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/protected_resources/listing_petitions/documents/bryde_s_whale_status_review__final.pdf
From the Board of Editors for Marine Mammal Science
Self-plagiarism and plagiarism policy for Marine Mammal Science
by Daryl J. Boness
Most people publishing in scientific journals are aware of what plagiarism is, but fewer think about the concept of self-plagiarism, except for maybe the idea of duplicate publishing of the same study. However, less clear, but nonetheless of concern, is the reuse of text repeated verbatim or nearly verbatim from one paper to another without acknowledging that the ideas/text in the new paper were presented in a prior publication. While there is an ongoing debate about how much redundancy without attribution from one paper to another by the same author is acceptable, it is best to avoid cutting and pasting language from one paper to another, or to make only a word or two change to avoid it being identical. Many journals have no explicit policy on this matter, and until recently this has been the case for Marine Mammal Science. However, the occurrence of several cases of self-plagiarism raised by reviewers of papers or Associate Editors over the past year has brought this issue to a point where it has become important to make potential authors of papers submitted to Marine Mammal Science aware of the issue and the policy of this journal.
Marine Mammal Science believes that repeating text (full sentences or paragraphs) verbatim or nearly verbatim from previously published papers without giving proper attribution is not acceptable, whether the paper from which the text has been taken was by another author (plagiarism) or the same author (self-plagiarism). When the issue of plagiarism is raised by a reviewer or Editor, the paper will likely be rejected without the ability for resubmission, although cases deemed minor may be given the opportunity to be remedied. Major cases may also be brought to the attention of the author’s institution. When the issue is self-plagiarism, the nature and extent of the overlap in text will be examined through software that cross references published material, and a determination of the course of action that should be taken will be made by the Editor in consultation with Wiley publication ethics advisors. It is recognized that methodology often follows previously developed methods, and thus descriptions may be the same or similar. This is fine but authors must be sure to acknowledge the source of previously published methodology. If it is large amounts of text verbatim, use quotation marks along with the source, but if it is paraphrased, providing the source is sufficient. Consideration of a first case of self-plagiarism for an individual author will likely not result in a rejection or retraction, but the author will be notified in writing and be required to revise the paper appropriately. The author will be cautioned that a second offense would likely result in rejection/retraction of the paper and future submissions by the author would be checked by the cross-referencing software before being considered.
This policy will be added to the Marine Mammal Science author guidelines on the Society’s website. Please see the following for discussions of self-plagiarism:
 Interim reports, manuscripts and many government documents are not considered published material even if they might be available through the internet or other means. What is key to making something published is the transfer of ownership and distributing the material for redistribution (from US Copyright Law of 1976). One could thus use language from such a non-published source they wrote without citing the source and not commit self-plagiarism. If uncertain, it is always best to cite a source.
In Memoriam for Dr. Jonathan Stern
by Bill Keener, Graham Worthy, Leslie Cornick, Carolyn Kurle, and Frances Robertson
Jonathan Stern, marine ecologist and minke whale expert, passed away on February 16, 2017 at the age of 62. He taught in the Biology Department at San Francisco State University and was a long-standing researcher at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories.
Jon grew up in San Rafael, California, and obtained an undergraduate degree at Sonoma State University while volunteering at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito when it first opened to rehabilitate seals and sea lions in 1975. He spent his first summer after college working at the Friday Harbor Labs where he began his life’s work studying minke whales.
His parallel study of minke whales in Monterey Bay earned him a masters degree at San Francisco State University. He went on to complete his doctorate at Texas A&M University where he studied the distribution and movement patterns of baleen whales. His interest in the role of marine predators in ocean ecosystems led him to study many other cetacean species over the years including fin, humpback, gray, pilot and killer whales.
In 2008, Jon made an important discovery in San Francisco Bay. After a complete absence of more than 60 years, harbor porpoises had returned to reoccupy the bay on a daily basis. He considered this a good news environmental story that should be shared and studied. To that end, he co-founded Golden Gate Cetacean Research, a nonprofit organization devoted to conducting research on the cetaceans of the bay and the Northern California coast. Over the years, this work expanded to include studies of the local coastal bottlenose dolphin population.
Jon’s passing leaves a very large hole—he was many things to many people: scientist, teacher, mentor, friend, as well as a talented musician. The meaningful ways in which Jon contributed to so many lives with his wisdom, enthusiasm and gentle humor are truly an inspiration. He will be greatly missed.
Table of Contents
Note: you must be signed in as a member of the SMM or at Wiley to open and read the journal for free.
Humpback whales interfering when mammal-eating killer whales attack other species: Mobbing behavior and interspecific altruism? (pages 7–58)
Robert L. Pitman, Volker B. Deecke, Christine M. Gabriele, Mridula Srinivasan, Nancy Black, Judith Denkinger, John W. Durban, Elizabeth A. Mathews, Dena R. Matkin, Janet L. Neilson, Alisa Schulman-Janiger, Debra Shearwater, Peggy Stap and Richard Ternullo
Version of Record online: 20 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12343
Different modes of acoustic communication in deep-diving short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) (pages 59–79)
Jacobo Marrero Pérez, Frants H. Jensen, Laia Rojano-Doñate and Natacha Aguilar de Soto
Version of Record online: 8 AUG 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12344
Rare or cryptic? The first report of an Omura’s whale (Balaenoptera omurai) in the South Atlantic Ocean (pages 80–95)
Ana Lúcia Cypriano-Souza, Ana Carolina Oliveira de Meirelles, Vitor Luz Carvalho and Sandro Luis Bonatto
Version of Record online: 19 AUG 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12348
Genetic structure of the beaked whale genus Berardius in the North Pacific, with genetic evidence for a new species (pages 96–111)
Phillip A. Morin, C. Scott Baker, Reid S. Brewer, Alexander M. Burdin, Merel L. Dalebout, James P. Dines, Ivan Fedutin, Olga Filatova, Erich Hoyt, Jean-Luc Jung, Morgane Lauf, Charles W. Potter, Gaetan Richard, Michelle Ridgway, Kelly M. Robertson and Paul R. Wade
Version of Record online: 26 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12345
Spatial and temporal patterns in the calling behavior of beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, in Cook Inlet, Alaska (pages 112–133)
Rachael Blevins-Manhard, Shannon Atkinson and Marc Lammers
Version of Record online: 21 NOV 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12353
Blubber cortisol qualitatively reflects circulating cortisol concentrations in bottlenose dolphins (pages 134–153)
Cory D. Champagne, Nicholas M. Kellar, Daniel E. Crocker, Samuel K. Wasser, Rebecca K. Booth, Marisa L. Trego and Dorian S. Houser
Version of Record online: 13 SEP 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12352
Survival probabilities and movements of harbor seals in central California (pages 154–171)
Suzanne C. Manugian, Denise Greig, Derek Lee, Benjamin H. Becker, Sarah Allen, Mark S. Lowry and James T. Harvey
Version of Record online: 19 AUG 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12350
Using calls as an indicator for Antarctic blue whale occurrence and distribution across the southwest Pacific and southeast Indian Oceans (pages 172–186)
Naysa E. Balcazar, Holger Klinck, Sharon L. Nieukirk, David K. Mellinger, Karolin Klinck, Robert P. Dziak and Tracey L. Rogers
Version of Record online: 12 DEC 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12373
Cranial morphology and taxonomic resolution of some dolphin taxa (Delphinidae) in Australian waters, with a focus on the genus Tursiops (pages 187–205)
Maria Jedensjö, Catherine M. Kemper and Michael Krützen
Version of Record online: 13 SEP 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12356
Seasonal acoustic behavior of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico (pages 206–218)
Aurora Paniagua-Mendoza, Diane Gendron, Eduardo Romero-Vivas and John A. Hildebrand
Version of Record online: 27 DEC 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12362
Southeastern Pacific humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and their breeding grounds: Distribution and habitat preference of singers and social groups off the coast of Ecuador (pages 219–235)
Javier Oña, Ellen C. Garland and Judith Denkinger
Version of Record online: 22 SEP 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12365
Satellite telemetry reveals population specific winter ranges of beluga whales in the Bering Sea (pages 236–250)
John J. Citta, Pierre Richard, Lloyd F. Lowry, Gregory O’Corry-Crowe, Marianne Marcoux, Robert Suydam, Lori T. Quakenbush, Roderick C. Hobbs, Denis I. Litovka, Kathryn J. Frost, Tom Gray, Jack Orr, Ben Tinker, Helen Aderman and Matthew L. Druckenmiller
Version of Record online: 14 SEP 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12357
Dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) social structure characterized by social fluidity and preferred companions (pages 251–276)
Heidi C. Pearson, Timothy M. Markowitz, Jody S. Weir and Bernd Würsig
Version of Record online: 17 OCT 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12370
A long-term study of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in an Australian industrial estuary: Increased sightings associated with environmental improvements (pages 277–290)
Mike I. Bossley, Aude Steiner, Robert W. Rankin and Lars Bejder
Version of Record online: 24 OCT 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12368
Fine-scale habitat use in Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, Sousa chinensis, may be more influenced by fish rather than vessels in the Pearl River Estuary, China (pages 291–312)
Matthew K. Pine, Kexiong Wang and Ding Wang
Version of Record online: 26 NOV 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12366
Evidence for the functions of surface-active behaviors in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) (pages 313–334)
Ailbhe S. Kavanagh, Kylie Owen, Michael J. Williamson, Simon P. Blomberg, Michael J. Noad, Anne W. Goldizen, Eric Kniest, Douglas H. Cato and Rebecca A. Dunlop
Version of Record online: 21 NOV 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12374
Spatial variation in shark-inflicted injuries to Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) of the southwestern Indian Ocean (pages 335–341)
Michael R. Heithaus, Jeremy J. Kiszka, Adèle Cadinouche, Violaine Dulau-Drouot, Virginie Boucaud, Sergi Pérez-Jorge and Imogen Webster
Version of Record online: 22 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12346
Rare sightings of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) on a feeding ground off the South Sandwich Islands, including a known individual from Península Valdés, Argentina (pages 342–349)
Griet Nijs and Victoria J. Rowntree
Version of Record online: 21 NOV 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12354
Observations of a New Zealand dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) breathing via its mouth (pages 350–355)
Stephen M. Dawson, R. Ewan Fordyce, Sam H. Ridgway, Thomas E. Brough and Elisabeth Slooten
Version of Record online: 24 AUG 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12349
Insights into Blainville’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) echolocation ontogeny from recordings of mother-calf pairs (pages 356–364)
Charlotte Dunn, Diane Claridge, John Durban, Jessica Shaffer, David Moretti, Peter Tyack and Luke Rendell
Version of Record online: 16 SEP 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12351
Common nonsong social calls of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) recorded off northern Angola, southern Africa (pages 365–375)
Melinda Rekdahl, Charlotte Tisch, Salvatore Cerchio and Howard Rosenbaum
Version of Record online: 23 SEP 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12355
Ankylosis and osteonecrosis in the pectoral limb of a baleen whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti) from the Miocene Calvert Formation of Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, U.S.A. (pages 376–385)
John R. Nance, Morrie Kricun and Stephen J. Godfrey
Version of Record online: 19 SEP 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12363
The blue whale brain misrepresented by an alcohol dehydrated brain of 3,636 grams (pages 386–388)
Sam H. Ridgway and Kaitlin R. Van Alstyne
Version of Record online: 26 NOV 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12364
Louis M. Herman 1930–2016 (pages 389–406)
Adam A. Pack, Elia Y. K. Herman, C. Scott Baker, Gordon B. Bauer, Phillip J. Clapham, Richard C. Connor, Alison S. Craig, Paul H. Forestell, Adam S. Frankel, Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Matthias Hoffmann-Kuhnt, Eduardo Mercado III, Joseph Mobley, Melissa R. Shyan-Norwalt, Scott S. Spitz, Moby Solangi, Roger K. R. Thompson, Lorenzo von Fersen, Robert Uyeyama, Randall Wells and James P. Wolz
Version of Record online: 27 DEC 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/mms.12387
SMM 2017 Conference Call for Abstracts and Registration Open
5 December 2016-29 March 2017. Halifax, Nova Scotia
2017 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS)
7-9 April, 2017 in Beaufort, North Carolina (Duke Marine Lab)
ECS 31st Annual Conference
1-3 May 2017 in Denmark
21st Annual Meeting of the Northwest Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (NWSSMM)
6-7 May, 2017. Vancouver, BC (University of British Columbia)
2nd annual SESC symposium
26 August, 2017, Mississippi, USA (University of Southern Mississippi)
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