The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Environmental Studies Program is convening a workshop (hereafter referred as the Workshop) to identify the most critical information needs and data gaps on the effects of various man-made sound on fish, fisheries, and invertebrates resulting from the use of sound-generating devices by the energy industry. To help focus the Workshop and maximize the contributions of the participants this document presents a Literature Synthesis (or Synthesis) that summarizes current knowledge of the topic as of January 2012.
While the focus of this Literature Synthesis and Workshop will be on fish, fisheries, and invertebrates of U.S. Atlantic and Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the findings will have a bearing on related activities around the world. Because of limited available data focused on species in the regions of interest, much of the literature reviewed and many of the species discussed are not taken directly from United States sources or locales. However, in most cases, the findings can be extrapolated to, and are fully relevant for, the species, sources, and regions of interest.
The Workshop will consider renewables, including offshore wind development, as well as oil and gas, and all the operations needed to implement these activities and decommission them after their termination. The Workshop will also cover exploration, including the use of devices for monitoring habitats, like boomers and multi-beam sonars, and sand and gravel (mineral) mining (dredging). While BOEM has jurisdiction to issue leases, easements, and rights-of-way for wave and tidal energy developments, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has the primary regulatory responsibility for these developments. Wave and tidal energy development activities will not, therefore, be given prominence at the Workshop, although this Literature Synthesis is informed by appropriate studies and findings with respect to those developments.
The Workshop itself will serve as the basis for a final report identifying information needs and data gaps. The final document from the Workshop (the Report) will comprise this Literature Synthesis, a Meeting Report, and a Gap Analysis.
This Literature Synthesis summarizes existing recent literature through 2011. It picks up where previous syntheses (e.g., Popper and Hastings 2009) left off and provides an initial identification of information needs and data gaps for the Workshop. This Synthesis is intended to be read by all participants prior to the Workshop and to serve as a jumping off point for all of the presentations. Thus, this Literature Synthesis will enable all speakers and participants at the Workshop to focus on new data and ideas rather than review older material. It is intended that the Workshop itself will go beyond the thinking of earlier groups and take knowledge forward.
Information needs and data gaps identified in this Synthesis are given in italized bullets. For the purpose of this Literature Synthesis, the authors have provided these lists without prioritization. Moreover, the lists in this Synthesis are not complete and are also far too extensive to provide BOEM, any United States or international organization, or the scientific community with guidance on information needs and data gaps. During the Workshop, participants will develop revised lists of information gaps and data needs and help prioritize them to provide the best possible guidance for agencies and researchers. Indeed, it is the expectation of BOEM and the authors that the lists will be modified substantially during the Workshop and that the final lists produced will benefit substantially from the presentations, breakout groups, and discussions at the Workshop.