Debra Palka, SEFSC science staff
This provides an update on the field research, restoration projects, and management advances as related to the Gulf of Mexico (Bryde's) whale that occurred during 2019 - 2020. As part of the NOAA RESTORE Science Program study on the trophic ecology and habitat use of Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whales, a research cruise was conducted during the summer of 2019 in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. In addition, a variety of passive acoustic studies are ongoing. There are two restoration projects planned in the Gulf of Mexico that have direct bearing on Bryde's whales: the the Open Ocean Marine Mammal Vessel Collision Mitigation and Noise Mitigation projects. In regards to management advances, a draft recovery outline has been developed, NOAA has been conducting ESA Section 7 consultations on a number of projects, and there are preparations for 2 recovery workshops.