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NMML Small Cetacean Aerial Survey 1998

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Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Dataset from an aerial survey from NMML conducted in May 1998 included in a 3-year programme to monitor Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) in the Gulf of Alaska (offshore waters from Cape Suckling to Unimak Pass), Prince William Sound, and Shelikof Strait. more

Researchers from NMML's Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program conducted the line transect aerial surveys for harbor porpoise and Dall's porpoise from 27 May to 28 July 1998 in the Gulf of Alaska (offshore waters from Cape Suckling to Unimak Pass), Prince William Sound, and Shelikof Strait. Surveys were conducted from a NOAA Corps DeHavilland Twin Otter, flown at an altitude of 152.5 m (500 ft) and an airspeed of 185 km/hr (100 knots). Sawtooth lines were designed to cover the offshore waters from Cape Suckling to Unimak Pass (offshore of Kodiak Island) and included lines extending 15 nmi seaward, or to the 50 fathom line, whichever was farthest from shore and lines extending to the 1,000 fathom line. In Shelikof Strait a series of zigzag lines were designed between the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island. Larger inlets and bays were also included in the survey. The survey in Prince William Sound consisted of two lines: one covering the central waters and one along the coast with extensions into selected inlets. Two primary observers surveyed from a bubble window on the left and right sides of the plane. An independent observer was positioned in a belly window. This observer surveyed the trackline directly below the plane to record animals missed on the trackline by the primary observers. Purpose A 3-year survey began in 1997 to complete a new abundance estimate by 1999. This survey will also include an abundance estimate for Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli). Once the 3 years of surveys are completed, the data will be used to estimate annual abundance of harbor porpoise and Dall's porpoise, which is one of the key pieces of information needed to manage marine mammal-fishery interactions, as required under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Inclement weather restricted the completion of the entire planned survey. Survey lines were completed in Prince William Sound and an adequate number of survey miles were completed offshore from Cape Suckling west along the Kenai Peninsula, offshore of Kodiak Island, west to Sutwik Island (Alaska Peninsula), and in Shelikof Strait. A total of 49.09 survey hours were flown, with sightings of 69 harbor porpoise, 60 Dall's porpoise, 13 killer whales, 46 humpback whales, 25 fin whales, 1 Cuvier's beaked whale, 11 unidentified dolphins/porpoises, 31 unidentified whales, 21 harbor seals, 18 Steller sea lions, and 8 unidentified pinnipeds. These numbers do not include the independent bubble window observer sightings.

Biology > Mammals
Marine, I, North Pacific, Mammalia

Geographical coverage
I, North Pacific [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
31 May 1998 - 27 July 1998

Taxonomic coverage
Mammalia [WoRMS]

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; National Marine Mammal Laboratory, moredata owner

Related datasets
Published in:
OBIS-SEAMAP: Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations, more

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Research
Metadatarecord created: 2012-11-13
Information last updated: 2012-11-13
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