A major mission of the Marine Mammal and Turtle Division is to monitor the status of protected species in U.S. waters or waters where the U.S. has a vested interest. Most of this monitoring is conducted aboard NOAA research vessels. Ship-based surveys typically take a multidisciplinary approach and consist of studies of protected species abundance, distribution, and biology, as well as ecosystem research.
The web pages for various MMTD ship-based survey activities are linked below (sorted by geographic area of focus). These pages chronicle the activities of MMTD researchers over several years. A geovisualization shows the geographic extent of this activity, along with information about the surveys.