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with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

The Marine Mammal Twinning, creators of the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit, is pleased to host an online “Marine Mammals Knowledge Exchange” with the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) as part of the Marine Mammal Twinning’s Final Partner’s Workshop 2023. The Knowledge Exchange is open to all, and please register using the link below.  

Join us for an afternoon of rich discussion around some of the key threats facing marine mammals and the solutions implemented by SBNMS and other Marine Protected Areas around the world: Ship Strikes, Noise PollutionEntanglementWhale Watching.

  • Date: 18th October 2023
  • Time: 13:30 – 17:00 (UTC -4) 
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Language: English (online)

Download the agenda in English (.pdf)


This knowledge exchange welcomed participants to learn more about some of the key threats facing marine mammals and the possible management solutions as well as the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit – a capacity budding tool for managers to better conserve marine mammals – or to connect managers from the Atlantic and beyond.

If you wish to re-watch the knowledge exchange, please view below. You can also download copies of the delivered presentations (.pdf) in the agenda.


13:30 – Learning exchange with Stellwagen bank National Marine Sanctaury experts and local stakeholders – solutions & threats facing humpback whales and marine mammals [.pdf]

  • Pete DeCola, superintendent of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
  • Ben Haskell, Deputy superintendent of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

13:40 – Noise Pollution

  • Actions being undertaken by NOAA and sanctuaries to tackle Noise (15’)
  • Challenges & Solutions Group discussion (30’)
  • Question from the online participants

14:25 – Ship Strikes [.pdf]

  • Actions being undertaken by SBNMS to tackle Ship Strikes – addressing issues raised in “Collision” (15’)
  • Challenges & Solutions Group discussion (30’)
  • Question from the online participants

15:10 – Coffee Break

15:30 – Entanglement [.pdf]

  • Actions being undertaken by SBNMS to tackle entanglement (15’)
  • Challenges & Solutions Group discussion (30’)
  • Question from the online participants

16:15 – Whale Watching [.pdf]

  • Actions being undertaken by SBNMS to limit impacts of whale watching (15’)
  • Challenges & Solutions Group discussion (30’)
  • Question from the online participants

17:00 – Concluding Remarks

  • Marine Mammal Twinning Team
  • Peta DeCola, superintendent of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

If you have any questions, pleased not hesitate to contact us.

Speaker Biographies

Leila Hatch

Marine Ecologist and Bioacoustician

Dr. Leila Hatch is a marine ecologist at the sanctuary. Dr. Hatch studies the ways that animals use sound underwater and the impacts of noise produced by human activities on marine environments. She co-leads, along with NOAA Fisheries, NOAA’s Ocean Noise Strategy initiative. Dr. Hatch began working at the sanctuary in 2006 after serving as a John A. Knauss legislative fellow with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Resources Committee. She received a doctoral degree from Cornell University in evolutionary biology, where her research used molecular genetic and acoustic tools to identify population boundaries among Northern Hemisphere fin whales. Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Hatch participated in research programs off the coasts of Australia, Madagascar, Hawaii, California, and Massachusetts to study potential impacts from a variety of human activities (e.g., whale watching, vessel traffic, low-frequency active sonar, active acoustic research sources) on whale and dolphin populations.

David Wiley

Marine Ecologist and Research Coordinator

Dr. Dave Wiley is the research coordinator for NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. His research focuses on the ecology of large whales, seabirds, and forage fish. He has over 50 publications on these topics and has been featured on the cover of journals as diverse as Conservation Biology and Behaviour. His many awards include a Gulf of Maine Visionary Award, the International Society for Marine Mammalogy’s award for Excellence in Scientific Communication, NOAA’s Employee of the Year (Science), the US Department of Commerce’s Gold Medal for Scientific Leadership and a NEXTGOV BOLD Award for technical innovation in government service. He is a recipient of an Ian Axford/Fulbright Fellowship in Public Policy and is adjunct faculty in the School of Science and Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts – Boston and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. His research has been highlighted on BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, and PBS documentaries and featured in National Public Radio segments, Ocean Geographic, the New York Times and numerous other media outlets. Dr. Wiley has mentored a wide range of students that are becoming the next generation of conservation biologists.

Mike Thompson

Geographer and GIS Analyst

Mike Thompson has been a geographer for Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary since 2006, serving as a Geographic Information Systems analyst as well as supporting sanctuary research and management. His duties now include spatial analyses, database management, IT support, research, field work, and outreach. Mike received his bachelor’s degree in geography from Bridgewater State College. Before coming to the sanctuary, he worked at Perot Systems Government Services, an environmental consulting firm, working on multiple geospatial projects with the EPA, USDA, NAVY and NOAA. In 2001, Mike began working with the sanctuary during the Management Plan Review process and became interested in supporting the sanctuary mission. Mike is a Scituate native and grew up on the beach and around boats, even working as sternman on gillnet boats through college. He now enjoys spending time researching and protecting the same waters.

Tammy Silva

Research Marine Scientist

Tammy is a research marine scientist at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. She began working with the sanctuary in 2013 when she was awarded NOAA’s Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship. Tammy received her doctorate degree from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, School for Marine Science and Technology. During graduate school, she worked as a guest investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and as a naturalist aboard commercial whale watching vessels. Currently, Tammy is investigating the co-occurrence of sand lance, a key forage fish species, and top predators to quantify the ecological importance of sand lance and their habitat.

David Slocum

Facilities and Vessel Operations Coordinator

Dave Slocum is the operations coordinator for Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary where he is responsible for vessel and facility operations. Dave holds a United States Coast Guard Master License and served as a captain of passenger vessels operating within the sanctuary on whale and bird watching excursions for 15 years. Over the past 30 years, in addition to his whale watch role, Dave has worked as a commercial lobsterman, a building construction foreman, a marine facilities manager, and a research vessel captain. He is responsible for running day-to-day operations of the vessels and the facility and ensuring the safety and security of the staff and facilities.

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