In fiscal year 2022, the Commission requested research proposals that would further the conservation and management goals of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and assist the Commission in fulfilling its duties under the MMPA. We were especially interested in projects that: 1) further our understanding of how climate change affects, either directly or indirectly, the reproductive performance, survivorship, abundance, or vital rates of marine mammals or 2) advance science-based conservation interventions or management strategies to mitigate climate-change induced threats to marine mammals.
We reviewed 35 proposals totaling over $1.5 million in funding requests. We are pleased to announce the eight projects, totaling over $360,000, selected for funding:

  • Quantifying humpback whale health across Hawaii and Southeast Alaska in the face of climate change

  • Linking climate indices to southern right whale body condition and vital rates

  • Initiation of long-term evaluation of the effects of climate change on Indigenous marine mammal hunting in the Chugach Region using traditional ecological knowledge

  • Quantifying the impacts of a marine heatwave on individual growth and reproductive success in a recovering population of killer whales

  • Understanding the impacts of climate change on the reproductive performance of humpback whales around the Antarctic Peninsula using long-term multidisciplinary data

  • Enhancing Pacific northwest sea otter reintroduction strategy by accounting for climate change

  • An international virtual fishing gear marking system to reduce whale entanglements

  • Advancing ship strike and blue carbon management strategies for the protection of whales

For more information, visit our 2022 Grant Awards webpage. Please check back in November for information about next year's request for proposals.