The Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) provides a unique resource to monitor the presence, distribution, and relative abundance of several endangered and protected marine mammals, with greatest emphasis focused on the large baleen whales. Without data supplied by IUSS, critical naval activities are at serious risk of being limited because of uncertainty about the potential for environmental impact.

This project utilized the IUSS to monitor various marine mammal species in order to assist the United States Navy in attaining its conservation and regulatory compliance goals.

Technical Approach

The research process involved collecting, integrating, and assessing IUSS data for both the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific oceans. Security issues were addressed with the goal to develop accessible databases for unclassified use in education, research, and database management. IUSS data was transitioned into Navy and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) databases used to assess the potential impacts of human activities on endangered and protected marine mammals. A comparative assessment of IUSS capabilities with other marine mammal monitoring and assessment tools was conducted as well.


New IUSS data was integrated into Navy and NOAA databases. These databases currently are being used to assess potential impacts of human activities on endangered and protected animals. Recently, unclassified IUSS data has become available for research purposes, resource management, and education.


This research enhanced the U.S. Navy’s ability to assess and mitigate potential impacts of its activities on marine mammals. This project also significantly improved NOAA’s ability to carry out its mission of conserving and managing marine mammal populations by greatly expanding the database on wide ranging, pelagic marine mammals like the large whales.