A US attorney warns that Scotland has 18 months to legislate new marine mammal protection standards or find the largest export market for Scottish salmon closed for business

The United States Marine Mammal Protection Act 1972 ("MMPA") prohibits injuring marine mammals. These regulations significantly restrict the means US fisheries may use to protect their catch and their farms.

Until recently, as a practical matter, these laws did not affect foreign countries exporting to the United States. That is about to change, and the global aquaculture industry may lose the United States as a customer. This article focuses on Scotland’s salmon industry, its need to improve regulation and to eliminate deterrence devices that violate the MMPA, and identifies possible solutions.

I. The Marine Mammal Protection Act

Marine mammals have always been a part of the United States ocean environment. By the 1960s, the outlook for the marine mammal populations was looking grim. “Recent history indicates that man's impact upon marine mammals has ranged from what might be termed malign neglect to virtual genocide. These animals, including whales, porpoises, seals, sea otters, polar bears, manatees and others, have only rarely benefitted [sic] from our interest; they have been shot, blown up, clubbed to death, run down by boats, poisoned, and exposed to a multitude of other indignities, all in the interests of profit or recreation, with little or no consideration of the potential impact of these activities on the animal populations involved.”(1)

The US therefore passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.(2) The MMPA was generally thought of as a big success. Dolphin bycatch in the tuna industry was a headline issue, and by 1980 dolphin bycatch was reduced from 500,000 to 20,000 dolphins per year.(3)

The MMPA was designed to protect mammals in international waters as well, essentially for two reasons. Aside from the obvious environmental reasons, restricting only US interests would make competition very difficult. The original MMPA provided:

“The Secretary of the Treasury shall ban the importation of commercial fish or products from fish which have been caught with commercial fishing technology which results in the incidental kill or incidental serious injury of ocean mammals in excess of United States standards. The Secretary shall insist on reasonable proof from the government of any nation from which fish or fish products will be exported to the United States of the effects on ocean mammals of the commercial fishing technology in use for such fish or fish products exported from such nation to the United States.”(4)

In 1984, concerned that foreign vessels were insufficiently controlled, Congress amended the MMPA and introduced “comparability” standards: foreign governments would have to show that they had adopted regulatory programs governing the incidental taking of marine mammals that were comparable to those of the US.(5)

This was not enough. In 1988, Senator John Breaux of Louisiana complained in Congressional hearings: “The program is working in the United States. The problem is not with our tuna industry. The problem is with the foreign fishermen, who take four times more porpoises than our industry does... And even equally as bad, our government has not done anything about it. We gave them the authority to say that exports to the United States would be restricted if the foreign fleets do not do something about the problem. And what has our government done? They have not even issued the regulations to institute the programme Congress passed. That was four years ago. And the real question is where are the regulations? What are they waiting for?”(6)

The US Congress attempted to solve this problem by passing amendments in 1988 “designed to limit agency discretion to determine ‘comparability’ as to the incidental taking rate of foreign nations to that of the United States fleet by establishing precise and clear standards for these determinations”.(7)

This too was not enough. In 2002 research showed that almost 1,000 cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) were dying every day as bycatch in fishing nets.(8) Petitions from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, among many others, blamed the continued mammal losses on the failure of the US to enforce the MMPA import restrictions.

In 2010 the NMFS (the US National Marine Fisheries Service) announced that it was developing procedures to implement the import restrictions applicable to swordfish fishing and asked for public comment.(9) Comments poured in, including correspondence from the Save Our Seals Fund, specifically seeking a ban on the import of Canadian and Scottish salmon, “due to the intentional killing of seals”.(10) NFMS then announced (in 2015) that it would develop broader procedures for all mammals, and created the List of Foreign Fisheries (“LOFF”) which would classify each foreign fishery as either “exempt” or “export”. “To develop this list, NMFS would analyze imports of fish and fish products and identify harvesting nations with fisheries exporting such fish and fish products to the United States that are likely harvested with gear (e.g., gillnets, longlines, trawls, traps/pots, purse seines) or methods that have or may have incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals in the course of their commercial fishing operations.”(11)

NMFS issued its final rule in 2017, with a five year exemption period to give foreign nations time to “develop regulatory programs for their fisheries subject to this rule”.(12) The final 200 page LOFF was published in 2018.(13) Nations from Antigua to Western Samoa have until 1 January 2022 to develop legislation, apply for, and receive a comparability finding, or face a complete import ban from the United States.

The worldwide potential economic impact is difficult to estimate. This article focuses on Scotland, for whom this will have a major impact. Scotland is a significant source of salmon to the US, and its salmon export is a significant part of its economy.

Seals present the biggest marine mammal problem for Scottish salmon. Scottish salmon farmers and fisheries use a variety of measures to prevent seals from eating their crop, and Scotland currently has little in the way of regulations controlling injury to seals. As noted in the final LOFF, Scotland currently allows salmon farmers to shoot seals, albeit under limited circumstances.(14) Further, the currently used acoustic seal deterrents will likely be prohibited under the MMPA. Legislatively, Scotland has a long way to go.

II. A threat to the Scottish economic engine

Scottish aquaculture provides over £1.8 billion to the Scottish economy, and supports more than 10,000 jobs. These figures are predicted to double by 2030, making Scotland a current and future key player in the global aquaculture industry.(15) Scottish salmon accounts for most of Scottish aquaculture, and is not only Scotland’s largest food export, it is the largest food export of the UK.(16)

Seal predation (predatory attacks on salmon by seals) is as old as the salmon industry itself. Preventative measures have included physical boundaries such as nets, detonating underwater explosives, and shooting seals. For aquaculture facilities, the most used method is acoustic scaring, also referred to as acoustic harassment devices or acoustic deterrent devices (“ADDs”).(17)

Unfortunately conventional ADDs are not a reliable solution, and create new problems. Where ADDs are in use, seal shooting is still common. Alarmingly, a first-time study shows the increasing ensonification of the Scottish west coast: ADDs are overwhelming the coast with harmful noise, injuring marine life, and disrupting marine habitats.(18)

Killing seals is obviously prohibited under the MMPA. What is less obvious is that underwater detonations and ADDs, being harmful to seals, harbour porpoises and dolphins, are prohibited as well. The resulting US ban against Scottish salmon would have a serious adverse effect on Scotland’s salmon industry and the Scottish economy as a whole.

What can Scotland do? Improved regulations will bring certainty to the market and restore Scotland’s image as friendly to animals and the environment.

III. It’s not just about shooting: ADDs harm marine mammals and their use will end salmon exports

Historically Scotland has issued licences to shoot seals around aquaculture facilities. In March of 2018, the United States confirmed that this would not be tolerated any more.(19) This restriction is just the beginning.

It comes as no surprise that underwater noise can injure marine mammals. More than 20 years ago the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an early advocate, examined the use of ADDs and noted that:

  • ADDs have great potential for causing hearing damage;
  • seals tend to quickly habituate to noise, rendering ADDs ineffective;
  • ADDs have great potential for harming non-target species.(20)

NOAA also noted that ADDs can have a “dinner-bell effect” – seals learn that the ADDs signal the presence of salmon, and appear in even greater numbers.(21) At that time NOAA put out a call for greater regulation:

“Some form of licensing or prior authorization should be required for operational (as opposed to experimental) use of high-output devices that reasonably might be expected to harm target or other species – e.g., cause temporary or permanent hearing damage.”(22)

Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the United States set the goal of zero mammal injury and mortality by 2008.(23) Seal deterrent methods are now squarely under the US microscope. The United States’ policy is to prohibit methods of deterrence that “have a significant adverse effect on marine mammals”.(24)

The MMPA also prohibits import of salmon by nations that fail to address mammal injury and mortality. These injuries now explicitly include auditory concerns. In 2018, NOAA published its Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing, complete with specific parameters for assessing the effect of manmade sounds on marine mammals. These auditory injuries are recognized to trigger prohibitions under the MMPA.(25)

IV. The path to compliance

To implement the regulations under the MMPA, the US National Marine Fisheries Service published the LOFF, classifying the fisheries “based on the frequency and likelihood of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals”.(26)

Scotland’s salmon fisheries will require a “comparability finding” in order to export to the United States.(27) To receive the comparability finding, Scotland must ensure that the Scottish salmon industry regulations are comparable to US marine mammal injury standards.

Scotland appears unaware of the depth of the threat to the salmon industry. A recent report from the Scottish Parliament expressed concern that “Scotland may lose access to a lucrative market for its salmon if it continues to shoot seals that endanger stocks.”(28) In fact, Scotland could completely ban shooting and still be locked out of the US market just by the use of acoustic deterrent devices that cause hearing damage. For Scotland, the path to compliance requires brand new legislation and enforcement procedures that will likely have to be enacted immediately.

Currently Scotland does not have published regulations that will satisfy US prohibitions. European regulations offer little guidance for fisheries. Under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (SSI2004/475), “it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly, harass any wild animal of a European protected species”.

The MMPA mandate is currently in effect. A five-year exemption period to allow for compliance will expire at the end of 2021. Harvesting nations like Scotland are intended, during these five years, to obtain comparability findings from the NMFS that will allow them to be listed as complying with US law. Once accepted, Scotland’s salmon exports can continue uninterrupted.

As a practical matter the deadline is much closer. Scotland must apply for a comparability finding by 1 March 2021. That application will include regulatory and enforcement procedures that may take years to draft and implement.

To achieve a comparability finding for both aquaculture and fisheries, Scotland will need:

  • to prohibit intentional mortality or serious harm to marine mammals in commercial operations;
  • to specifically have “regulations governing the use of sonic deterrence devices at salmon farms”;(30)
  • to maintain a regulatory and enforcement programme comparable in effectiveness with the US programme, including (i) marine mammal assessments that estimate population abundance for marine mammal stocks; (ii) a reporting requirement for all incidents of mortality and injury; (iii) monitoring procedures to estimate the injuries in each fishery as well as nationally;
  • to have in place monitoring and auditing programmes to reliably certify that there is no mortality or serious harm taking place in connection with its exports;
  • to actually achieve the desired results of avoiding harm to mammals.(31)

V. Currently available ADDs fail to protect salmon, compromise the environment, and are not compliant with animal protection laws

By the end of 2021 Scotland will need legislation and enforcement that eliminate injury to mammals while protecting the salmon industry. Unfortunately, currently available acoustic deterrent devices (“ADDs”) do not appear to comply, and, some evidence shows, do not even work.

ADDs that are currently in use employ loud, shrill, aversive noises, even including over and underwater explosions intended to scare seals. The evidence of their threat is irrefutable:

“Anthropogenic underwater noise has been demonstrated to cause... damaged auditory systems... alteration in natural behavior, reduction in communication ranges, reduction in foraging ability, prevention of predator avoidance, and in extreme cases complete habitat avoidance or death of individuals.”(32)

“Commercially available ADDs can cause stress, hearing damage and deter non-target species such as dolphins and porpoises from their natural habitat.”(33)

(a) Effect on seals

ADDs generally generate loud sound, often exceeding source levels of 190-210 dB (re 1 µPa). Seals experience discomfort and have been observed to raise their heads above the surface to avoid the sound. Despite the initial pain when close to the device, seals habituate to ADDs and can learn to use them as dinner bells. At that point farmers choose their only viable option to protect their stock: shooting the seals.

ADDs operate in a frequency range of about 1-70 kHz with significant energy extending up to into the ultrasonic range.(36) In this range porpoises and dolphins are more sensitive than seals;(37) recent research shows that while acoustic deterrent devices do not work on seals, they do scare off porpoises.(38)

Worse, there is significant evidence that ADDs injure these marine mammals. Scottish Natural Heritage concluded in 2014 that “there is credible risk of exceeding injury criteria for both seals and porpoises. The risk cannot be discounted: ADDs at Scottish aquaculture sites are causing permanent hearing damage to marine mammals”.(39)

(b) Effect on other species (habitat exclusion)

It is known that ADDs exclude porpoises(40) and whales(41) from their natural environment for feeding and breeding. Harbour porpoises have been known to disappear within two miles of a single ADD.(42) It is also known that ADDs pose a risk of actual hearing damage in other marine mammals.(43)

This is particularly alarming given the widespread use of ADDs, which can cause potentially lethal hearing loss, stress, and disorientation. A new study shows that ADDs can be heard 30km away from the farms where they are utilized.(44)

Will Scotland have to ban all acoustic methods to continue exporting to the United States? Maybe not.

VI. Can Scotland protect its salmon industry?

Scotland is facing the loss of the United States as an export destination for the salmon industry. However, an outright ban of acoustic devices may be unnecessary. Instead, Scotland needs uniform standards that protect the marine environment and allow effective deterrence.

All acoustic devices should be certified by peer-reviewed research attesting that they are safe and effective. Years of worldwide marine research demonstrates that the following minimum standards for deterrent devices can and must be met. They must:

  • not cause pain to marine mammals or scuba divers;
  • have a proven deterrent effect on target species;
  • not affect non-target species;
  • have no effect beyond 250m from the device.

ADDs currently in use do not comply with these standards. Some critics claim that the ADDs in use already violate the “reckless” standard under Scottish law.(45)

As Marine Scotland has noted, the standards for negligence and recklessness often depend on the availability of alternative methods.(46) The laws of product safety illustrate this evolution well. “The same product may [be] deemed safe at time 0 and become unsafe at time 1.”(47) Standard designs that are considered safe and reasonable can quickly become “reprehensible” and “malicious” (well beyond reckless) once better technologies enter the market.(48)

Two technologies are available that appear likely to satisfy comparability review: pen nets and acoustic startle devices.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Australia) specifically prohibits seal scarers and pingers, and favors pen nets. “Over recent years pen net technology has become very sophisticated and is more effective in keeping predators out and fish safe.”(49) Advanced products such as the SeaStation pen from InnovaSea and AKVA’s Econets are predicted to prevent predation by physically excluding the seals.(50)

Another approach is a new acoustic technology from the University of St Andrews and Genuswave that triggers avoidance behaviour without pain (“startle” technology).(51) This technology uses lower frequencies (~1kHz), does not affect non-target species, and is local in its effect.(52) “The advantage of these devices is they can be tuned to affect only certain species in the environment, and they have significantly less impact on wildlife than other tested devices.”(53)

Nations using the pen nets and startle technology will likely satisfy the MMPA comparability review because neither cause injury. For the pen nets, this is somewhat self-evident. For the startle technology, some technical background is helpful. Peer-reviewed research in 2007 established the technical standards for auditory injury (permanent threshold shifts) in marine mammal hearing and temporary (non-injury) threshold shifts (the “Southall criteria”). A 2014 report to Marine Scotland adopted the Southall criteria, and in the same report advocated for the adoption of an acoustic startle device.(54)

VII. Conclusion

The risk to the Scottish salmon industry is clear and present. The regulatory environment is shifting; however as long as government and industry leaders continue to promptly collaborate with the full MMPA standards as their focus, they can secure the future of Scotland’s salmon exports to the United States. To be finished in time, the lengthy process of legislation necessary to comply with the MMPA standards should start now. Once in place, Scottish aquaculture will comply by avoiding injury and painful deterrents, and both their economy and the environment will enjoy the win.

References

(1) United States House Report No 92-707 on the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 1972 USCANN 4144, 4145.
(2) See generally Chapter 31 of Title 16 of the United States Code.
(3) Tim Gerrodette, “The Tuna-Dolphin Issue”, Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, p 1192 (2009).
(4) Public Law 92-522-Oct 21, 1972 (86 Stat 1030).
(5) Public Law 98-364-July 17, 1984 (98 Stat. 440).
(6) Opening statement of Senator Breaux, Senate Hearing 100-711, Hearings on Reauthorization of the MMPA at 4 (13 April 1988).
(7) Earth Island Inst v Mosbacher 746 F Supp 964, 968 (ND Cal 1990).
(8) Marsha Walton, “Big prize for ideas to help marine mammals, fishing fleets” (2004), www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/05/06/smartgear/ (last visited 17 June 2019).
(9) 75 FR 22731. References to the United States Federal Register are indicated by “FR”.
(10) 80 FR 48171.
(11) Ibid.
(12) 81 FR 54389.
(13) The final LOFF is available at www.fisheries.noaa.gov/foreign/international-affairs/list-foreign-fisheries (last visited 17 June 2019).
(14) LOFF, p 205.
(15) Scottish Government, Aquaculture (2019) (www2.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Fish-Shellfish), last visited 3 June 2019.
(16) Gov.UK, Food and drink export sales soar in Brexit boost (www.gov.uk/government/news/food-and-drink-export-sales-soar-in-brexit-boost) (2018), last visited 30 May 2019.
(17) European Parliament Directorate-General for Internal Policies, Potential Solutions to the Seals-Fisheries Conflict, p 20 (2010) (www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/note/join/2010/438614/IPOL-PECH_NT(2010)438614_EN.pdf), last visited 30 May 2019.
(18) Denise Risch, Charlotte Rose Findlay, Hayden Ripple, Steven Benjamins, Ben Wilson, Frazer Coomber, “Large-scale underwater noise pollution from Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) on the west coast of Scotland” (2017) (Abstract book of the 31st Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society, 1 May 2017, p 54) (europeancetaceansociety.eu/sites/default/files/AbstractBook_0.pdf), last visited 30 May 2019.
(19) “Fish and Fish Product Import Provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act List of Foreign Fisheries”, 83 FR 11703, Comment 15.
(20) Randall R Reeves, Robert J Hofman, Gregory K Silber, Dean Wilkinson, “Acoustic Deterrence of Harmful Marine Mammal-Fishery Interactions” (1996) (NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-10) (repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/15962), last visited 30 May 2019.
(21) Ibid p 7.
(22) Ibid at p 17.
(23) 16 USC 1387(6)(b). References to the United States Code are indicated by “USC”.
(24) 16 USC 1371 (a) (4) (B) and (C).
(25) NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-55, repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/15850, last visited 30 May 2019.
(26) List of Foreign Fisheries (www.fisheries.noaa.gov/foreign/international-affairs/list-foreign-fisheries), last visited 30 May 2019.
(27) See generally 83 FR 11703. References to the United States Federal Register are indicated by “FR”.
(28) Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, “Salmon farming in Scotland” (2018) p 76 (sp-bpr-en-prod-cdnep.azureedge.net/published/REC/2018/11/27/Salmon-farming-in-Scotland/REC-S5-18-09.pdf), last visited 30 May 2019.
(29) For example, the Protection of Wild Mammals Bill was announced as a “Member’s Bill” in 1999 and was not made law until 2002. “Protection Of Wild Mammals – a Member's Bill” (www.parliament.scot/visitandlearn/Education/15723.aspx), last visited 30 May 2019.
(30) As cited in response to Chile’s question in the US Federal Register, 83 FR 11703, 11713.
(31) See generally 50 CFR 216.24. References to the United States Code of Federal Regulations are indicated by “CFR”.
(32) Martin Solan and Nia Whiteley (eds), Stressors in the Marine Environment, §16.5.1 (2016).
(33) Scottish Government, “Acoustic deterrence using startle sounds: long term effectiveness and effects on odontocetes” (2013) (www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/11/9261), last visited 30 May 2019.
(34) T Jefferson and B Curry, “Acoustic methods of reducing or eliminating marine mammal-fishery interactions: do they work?” Ocean Coast. Manag. 31(1): 41-70 (1996).
(35) P Bordino, S Kraus et al, “Reducing Incidental Mortality of Franciscana Dolphin Pontoporia Blainvillei with Acoustic Warning Devices Attached to Fishing Nets”, Marine Mammal Science (2006) (doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.2002.tb01076.x), last visited 30 May 2019.
(36) Assessing Non-Lethal Seal Deterrent Options: Literature and Data Review. A report produced for the Marine Management Organisation. MMO Project No: 1131, October 2018.
(37) Thomas Götz and Vincent M Janik, “Acoustic deterrent devices to prevent pinniped depredation: efficiency, conservation concerns and possible solutions”, Mar Ecol Prog Ser Vol 492:285-302 (2013) (doi: 10.3354/meps10482), last visited 30 May 2019.
(38) Lonnie Mikkelsen, Line Hermannsen, Kristian Beedholm and others, “Simulated seal scarer sounds scare porpoises, but not seals: species-specific responses to 12 kHz deterrence sounds” (2017) (rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/7/170286), last visited 30 May 2019.
(39) P A Lepper, J Gordon, C Booth and others, Establishing the sensitivity of cetaceans and seals to acoustic deterrent devices in Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No 517 (2014) (dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/20936), last visited 3 June 2019.
(40) Dave W Johnston, “The effect of acoustic harassment devices on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada”, 108 Biological Conservation 113 (2002); Peter F Olesiuk, Linda M Nichol, Margaret J Sowden and others, “Effects of the sound generated by an acoustic harassment device on the relative abundance and distribution of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena in Retreat Passage, British Columbia)”, 18 Marine Mammal Science 843-862 (2006).
(41) Alexandra B Morton and Helena K Symonds, “Displacement of Orcinus orca (L.) by high amplitude sound in British Columbia, Canada”, 59 ICES Journal of Marine Science 71-80 (2002).
(42) Michael Jasny, “Sounding the Depths II” (National Resources Defense Council, 2005), p 40 (www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/sound.pdf), last visited 3 June 2019.
(43) Thomas Götz and Vincent M Janik, “Acoustic deterrent devices to prevent pinniped depredation: efficiency, conservation concerns and possible solutions”, Mar Ecol Prog Ser 492, 285-302 (2013); V J Taylor, D W Johnston and W C Verboom, “Acoustic harassment device (AHD) use in the aquaculture industry and implications for marine mammals”, 19 Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics 267-275 (1997).
(44) Rob Edwards, “Underwater alarms putting health of whales, dolphins and porpoises at risk”, The Herald, 6 May 2017 (www.heraldscotland.com/news/15270059.underwater-alarms-putting-health-of-whales-dolphins-and-porpoises-at-risk/), last visited 30 May 2019.
(45) Statement by Don Staniford (Personal correspondence, 7 May 2017) (donstaniford.typepad.com/files/ec-complaint-7-may-2017.pdf), last visited 30 May 2019.
(46) Minutes of a meeting of Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland (8 November 2016) (donstaniford.typepad.com/files/snh-foi-25-april-2017-document-2.pdf), last visited 30 May 2019.
(47) Fabrizio Cafaggi, “Product Safety, Private Standard Setting and Information Networks”, p 7, European University Institute Working Paper LAW No 2008/17 (papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1303419), last visited 30 May 2019.
(48) For example: television producer Admiral was punished by the US court in 1975 for using paper and wax insulation in high power transformers when safer materials were readily available: Gillham v Admiral Corp 523 F 2d 102 (6th Cir 1975).
(49) RSPCA Australia, RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme Standards, p 24 (2019) (rspcaapproved.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-01_FARMEDATLANTICSALMON_Standards.pdf), last visited 30 May 2019.
(50) www.innovasea.com/; www.akvagroup.com/pen-based-aquaculture/pens-nets/nets-/econet, last visited 30 May 2019.
(51) Thomas Götz and Vincent M Janik, “Non‐lethal management of carnivore predation: long‐term tests with a startle reflex-based deterrence system on a fish farm”, 19 Animal Conservation 212 (2016) (doi.org/10.1111/acv.12248), last visited 3 June 2019; Thomas Götz and Vincent M Janik, Acoustic Deterrence Using Startle Sounds Long Term Effectiveness – Report for Marine Scotland (2013) (www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/research-and-analysis/2013/11/acoustic-deterrence-using-startle-sounds-long-term-effectiveness-effects-odontocetes/documents/00438860-pdf/00438860-pdf/govscot%3Adocument), last visited 30 May 2019; www.genuswave.com (last visited 13 August 2019).
(52) Thomas Götz and Vincent M Janik, “Target-Specific Acoustic Predator Deterrence in the Marine Environment”, 18 Animal Conservation 102-111 (2015); Thomas Götz and Vincent M Janik, “Non-Lethal Management of Carnivore Predation: Long-Term Tests with a Startle Reflex-Based Deterrence System on a Fish Farm”, 19 Animal Conservation 212-221 (2016).
(53) S J Dolman, M J Tetley, S M Eisfeld-Pierantonio, M Green, F Read, F Ritter and P G H Evans, “The necessity of Management Options for effective harbour porpoise conservation in the UK: Case studies of emerging Areas of Concern”, p 54. A Whale and Dolphin Conservation Report 2015.
(54) A Coram, J Gordon, D Thompson and S Northridge (2014): Evaluating and assessing the relative effectiveness of non-lethal measures, including Acoustic Deterrent Devices, on marine mammals (Scottish Government) (www.gov.scot/publications/evaluating-assessing-relative-effectiveness-acoustic-deterrent-devices-non-lethal-measures/pages/8/), last visited 3 June 2019. The NMFS 2018 Revision to Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing also used the Southall criteria, so it appears that the startle technology will satisfy MMPA standards.

The Author

Allen P Sragow, Sragow & Sragow, Teaneck, New Jersey, USA. Email: a.sragow@sragowlawfirm.com

Share this article
Add To Favorites