Michael J. Moore's research while affiliated with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and other places

Publications (158)

Article
North Atlantic right whales (NARWs; Eubalaena glacialis) possess an arrangement of fine hairs on the rostrum and chin that may be used for hydrodynamic sensing during feeding. These hairs occur across mysticete species and are known to possess adequate innervation in the subdermal follicle to support their consideration as sensory hairs (vibrissae)...
Article
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Wildlife populations and their habitats are exposed to an expanding diversity and intensity of stressors caused by human activities, within the broader context of natural processes and increasing pressure from climate change. Estimating how these multiple stressors affect individuals, populations, and ecosystems is thus of growing importance. Howev...
Article
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Limited work to date has examined plastic ingestion in highly migratory seabirds like Great Shearwaters ( Ardenna gravis ) across their entire migratory range. We examined 217 Great Shearwaters obtained from 2008–2019 at multiple locations spanning their yearly migration cycle across the Northwest and South Atlantic to assess accumulation of ingest...
Article
Whales are now largely protected from direct harvest, leading to partial recoveries in many previously depleted species.¹ However, most populations remain far below their historical abundances and incidental human impacts, especially vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear, are increasingly recognized as key threats.² In addition, climate-d...
Article
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Whaling has decimated North Atlantic right whales Eubalaena glacialis (NARW) since the 11th century and southern right whales E. australis (SRW) since the 19th century. Today, NARWs are Critically Endangered and decreasing, whereas SRWs are recovering. We review NARW health assessment literature, NARW Consortium databases, and efforts and limitatio...
Article
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Compared with terrestrial mammals, marine mammals possess increased muscle myoglobin concentrations (Mb concentration, g Mb · 100g−1 muscle), enhancing their onboard oxygen (O2) stores and their aerobic dive limit. Although myoglobin is not homogeneously distributed, cetacean muscle O2 stores have been often determined by measuring Mb concentration...
Article
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Decompression theory has been mainly based on studies on terrestrial mammals, and may not translate well to marine mammals. However, evidence that marine mammals experience gas bubbles during diving is growing, causing concern that these bubbles may cause gas emboli pathology (GEP) under unusual circumstances. Marine mammal management, and usual av...
Article
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Despite a long-documented history of severe harmful algal blooms (HABs) in New England coastal waters, corresponding HAB-associated marine mammal mortality events in this region are far less frequent or severe relative to other regions where HABs are common. This long-term survey of the HAB toxins saxitoxin (STX) and domoic acid (DA) demonstrates s...
Article
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Knowing size-at-age is important for determining food requirements and making inferences about the nutritional status of individuals and their populations. Accurate growth curves are also needed to quantify drug dosages to treat wounded or entangled animals. However, body sizes are often based on small numbers of measured animals that must be impro...
Article
North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) feed and migrate in areas of the inshore and offshore trap fishery for American lobster (Homarus americanus) in the Northeast U.S. In addition to a recent increase in lethal and sub-lethal interactions with Canadian snow crab gear, entanglement in both Canadian and U.S. lobster trap gear threatens t...
Technical Report
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Over 170,000 whales were killed in the sub-Antarctic waters of South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur, SG, South Atlantic) from 1904 to 1965. In recent decades, whales are regular summer visitors, with the southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliea) most commonly reported. A 23-day cetacean survey was condu...
Article
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Variably buoyant, dead Cetacea may float, or sink and later bloat to refloat if ambient temperature and pressure allow sufficient decomposition gas formation and expansion. Mortality can result from acute or chronic disease, fishery entanglement, vessel collision, noxious noises, or toxicant spills. Investigators often face the daunting task of elu...
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Little is known about the dynamics of baleen whale respiratory cycles, especially the mechanics and activity of the blowholes and their interaction with seawater. In this study, the duration of complete respiration cycles (expiration/inhalation events) were quantified for the first time in two species: North Atlantic right whale (NARW) and humpback...
Article
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As species recover from exploitation, continued assessments of connectivity and population structure are warranted to provide information for conservation and management. This is particularly true in species with high dispersal capacity, such as migratory whales, where patterns of connectivity could change rapidly. Here we build on a previous long-...
Article
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Great whales have been detected using very‐high‐resolution satellite imagery, suggesting this technology could be used to monitor whales in remote areas. However, the application of this method to whale studies is at an early developmental stage and several technical factors need to be addressed, including capacity for species differentiation and t...
Article
Assessment of the compressibility of marine mammal airways at depth is crucial to understanding vital physiologic processes such as gas exchange during diving. Very few studies have directly assessed changes in cetacean and pinniped trachea-bronchial shape, and none have quantified changes in volume with increasing pressure. A freshly deceased harb...
Article
Body mass is a key life‐history trait in animals. Despite being the largest animals on the planet, no method currently exists to estimate body mass of free‐living whales. We combined aerial photographs and historical catch records to estimate the body mass of free‐living right whales (Eubalaena sp.). First, aerial photogrammetry from unmanned aeria...
Article
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The 2017 North Atlantic right whale (NARW) unusual mortality event and an increase in humpback whale entanglements off the U.S. West Coast have driven significant interest in ropeless trap/pot fishing. Removing the vertical buoy lines used to mark traps on the sea floor and haul them up would dramatically reduce or eliminate entanglements, the lead...
Article
Whales are federally protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act; endangered species, such as the North Atlantic right whale, receive additional protection under the Endangered Species Act. However, their regulations have failed to satisfy conservation and animal welfare concerns. From 1990 to 2011 the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacia...
Article
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Drag force acting on swimming marine mammals is difficult to measure directly. Researchers often use simple modeling and kinematic measurements from animals, or computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to estimate drag. However, studies that compare these methods are lacking. Here, computational simulation and physical experiments were used t...
Article
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Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) comprises a significant amount of global marine debris, with diverse impacts to marine environments, wildlife, and the fishing industry. Building evidence on ALDFG is critical to holistically understand the marine debris issue, and to inform the development of solutions that reduce amounts of ALDFG...
Article
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Instrumenting animals with tags contributes additional resistive forces (weight, buoyancy, lift, and drag) that may result in increased energetic costs; however, additional metabolic expense can be moderated by adjusting behavior to maintain power output. We sought to increase hydrodynamic drag for near-surface swimming bottlenose dolphins, to inve...
Article
Bowhead and right whale (balaenid) baleen filtering plates, longer in vertical dimension (≥3–4 m) than the closed mouth, presumably bend during gape closure. This has not been observed in live whales, even with scrutiny of video-recorded feeding sequences. To determine what happens to the baleen during gape closure, we conducted an integrative, mul...
Conference Paper
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Bio-logging technology is becoming an ever more common tool for persistent monitoring of people and animals in their natural environment. As a result, the volume and type of information collected by these embedded sensing systems continues to increase, making algorithms that can accurately and efficiently classify and parameterize behavior from sen...
Article
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Male baleen whales have long been suspected to have annual cycles in testosterone, but due to difficulty in collecting endocrine samples, little direct evidence exists to confirm this hypothesis. Potential influences of stress or adrenal stress hormones (cortisol, corticosterone) on male reproduction have also been difficult to study. Baleen has re...
Article
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Diving mammals have evolved a suite of physiological adaptations to manage respiratory gases during extended breath-hold dives. To test the hypothesis that offshore bottlenose dolphins have evolved physiological adaptations to improve their ability for extended deep dives and as protection for lung barotrauma, we investigated the lung function and...
Article
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North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) are highly endangered and frequently exposed to a myriad of human activities and stressors in their industrialized habitat. Entanglements in fixed fishing gear represent a particularly pervasive and often drawn-out source of anthropogenic morbidity and mortality to the species. To better understand...
Article
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Hydrostatic lung compression in diving marine mammals, with collapsing alveoli blocking gas exchange at depth, has been the main theoretical basis for limiting N2 uptake and avoiding gas emboli (GE) as they ascend. However, studies of beached and bycaught cetaceans and sea turtles imply that air-breathing marine vertebrates may, under unusual circu...
Article
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Recent studies have demonstrated that some hormones are present in baleen powder from bowhead (Balaena mysticetus) and North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis) whales. To test the potential generalizability of this technique for studies of stress and reproduction in large whales, we sought to determine whether all major classes of steroid and thy...
Article
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The conservation and management of large whales rely in part upon health monitoring of individuals and populations, and methods generally necessitate invasive sampling. Here, we used a small, unmanned hexacopter drone to noninvasively fly above humpback whales from two populations, capture their exhaled breath (blow), and examine the associated mic...
Article
Research into stress physiology of mysticete whales has been hampered by difficulty in obtaining repeated physiological samples from individuals over time. We investigated whether multi-year longitudinal records of glucocorticoids can be reconstructed from serial sampling along full-length baleen plates (representing ∼10 years of baleen growth), us...
Article
Whale tracking tags often penetrate semi-rigid blubber, with intramuscular sharp tips and toggling barbs under the subdermal sheath to reduce premature shedding. Tag sites can show persistent regional swellings or depressions. Fibroelastic blubber grips a tag, so if muscle shears relative to blubber during locomotion, the tag tip could cavitate the...
Chapter
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Each year, many cetaceans die from accidental capture in fishing gear. Despite intense study in some species, we know little about levels of bycatch and entanglement in most of the world’s fisheries. Existing laws focus on maintenance of populations rather than welfare. Yet bycatch has wide-reaching welfare consequences, affecting quality of life f...
Article
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Little quantitative information on the behavior, health, and activity level of managed marine mammals is currently collected, though it has the potential to significantly contribute to management and welfare of these animals. To address this, high-resolution motion-sensing digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) collected data from animals under hu...
Article
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In this Review, we focus on the functional properties of the respiratory system of pinnipeds and cetaceans, and briefly summarize the underlying anatomy; in doing so, we provide an overview of what is currently known about their respiratory physiology and mechanics. While exposure to high pressure is a common challenge among breath-hold divers, the...
Article
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Bio-logging tags are an important tool for the study of cetaceans, but superficial tags inevitably increase hydrodynamic loading. Substantial forces can be generated by tags on fast-swimming animals, potentially affecting behavior and energetics or promoting early tag removal. Streamlined forms have been used to reduce loading, but these designs ca...
Data
This supplemental file includes the experimental measurements and simulation data used to generate the normalized fluid pressure around the Model A design. These data were used to create the difference map between the coefficients of pressure (Cpdiff) that was used to compare experimental and simulation results. The units for the velocity fields ar...
Data
Simulation results for Model A tag housing design and the design derivatives over a range of flow velocities (V∞ = 1–6 m/s) are included in the supplemental data file. Additionally, data from forces generated by the Model A design in constant 5.6 m/s off-axis flow (β = 0°–180°) are also provided. (XLSX)
Article
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The challenge of identifying cause of death in discarded bycaught marine mammals stems from a combination of the non-specific nature of the lesions of drowning, the complex physiologic adaptations unique to breath-holding marine mammals, lack of case histories, and the diverse nature of fishing gear. While no pathognomonic lesions are recognized, s...
Article
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Individuals store energy to balance deficits in natural cycles; however, unnatural events can also lead to unbalanced energy budgets. Entanglement in fishing gear is one example of an unnatural but relatively common circumstance that imposes energetic demands of a similar order of magnitude and duration of life-history events such as migration and...
Article
Large whales are frequently entangled in fishing gear and sometimes swim while carrying gear for days to years. Entangled whales are subject to additional drag forces requiring increased thrust power and energy expenditure over time. To classify entanglement cases and aid potential disentanglement efforts, it is useful to know how long an entangled...
Article
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© The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Frontiers in Marine Science 3 (2016): 137, doi:10.3389/fmars.2016.00137.
Article
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Reproduction of mysticete whales is difficult to monitor, and basic parameters, such as pregnancy rate and inter-calving interval, remain unknown for many populations. We hypothesized that baleen plates (keratinous strips that grow downward from the palate of mysticete whales) might record previous pregnancies, in the form of high-progesterone regi...
Article
Author Posting. © Society for Marine Mammalogy, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of Society for Marine Mammalogy for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Marine Mammal Science 32 (2016):1510–1515, doi:10.1111/mms.12328.
Article
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Recent studies of stranded marine mammals indicate that exposure to underwater military sonar may induce pathophysiological responses consistent with decompression sickness (DCS). However, DCS has been difficult to diagnose in marine mammals. We investigated whether blood microparticles (MPs, measured as number/μl plasma), which increase in respons...
Article
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Lethal and sublethal fishing gear entanglement is pervasive in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). Entanglement can lead to direct injury and is likely to incur substantial energetic costs. This study (1) evaluates drag characteristics of entangled right whales, (2) contextualizes gear drag measurements for individual whales, and (3)...
Article
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The viability of healthy single stranded dolphins as immediate release candidates has received little attention. Responders have been reluctant to release lone delphinids due to their social needs, even when they pass the same health evaluations as mass stranded animals. This study tracked postrelease success of 34 relocated and released satellite...
Article
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Attaching bio-telemetry or -logging devices ('tags') to marine animals for research and monitoring adds drag to streamlined bodies, affecting posture, swimming gaits and energy balance. These costs have never been measured in free-swimming cetaceans. To examine the effect of drag from a tag on metabolic rate, cost of transport, and swimming behavio...
Article
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Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) (NES) are known to be deep, long-duration divers and to sustain long-repeated patterns of breath-hold, or apnea. Some phocid dives remain within the bounds of aerobic metabolism, accompanied by physiological responses inducing lung compression, bradycardia, and peripheral vasoconstriction. Current d...
Article
Today there is enormous popular interest in marine mammals. Western media tend to dwell on the ongoing debate about commercial whaling by Japan, Norway and Iceland. There is, however, relative silence as to how the shipping and fishing industries of many if not all maritime countries are also catching and sometimes killing whales, albeit unintentio...
Article
To determine effectiveness of Seasonal Management Areas (SMAs), introduced in 2008 on the US East Coast to reduce lethal vessel strikes to North Atlantic right whales, we analyzed observed large whale mortality events from 1990 – 2012 in the geographic region of the ‘Ship Strike Rule’ to identify changes in frequency, spatial distribution, and spat...