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Research Technical Report

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Monthly Distribution of Shipping Vessels Within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, January-December 2010

Miller, C.W. (September 2011)

Naval Postgraduate School Report prepared for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 43pp.

ABSTRACT

After the discovery of a forty foot shipping container resting on the ocean floor within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), the MBNMS began a study to research the impact that containers lost at sea might have on the marine environment. The Naval Postgraduate School Oceanography Department was approached to provide some measure of the total shipping which passes within the boundaries of the MBNMS. Utilizing the Automated Identification System (AIS) message data, both total shipping and cargo shipping totals were calculated and monthly density plots were generated to show those areas which are most impacted by vessel traffic. In addition to providing informing the issue of lost shipping containers, these plots can also be used by the MBNMS and NOAA's other West Coast Sanctuaries to understand interactions between shipping and wildlife, especially within the context of ship strikes to whales.