Encounter rates of cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area

Oliver Boisseau*, Claire Lacey, Tim Lewis, Anna Moscrop, Magnus Danbolt, Richard Mclanaghan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A series of visual-acoustic surveys were carried out in the Mediterranean Sea between 2003 and 2007 from RV 'Song of the Whale'. Almost 21,000 km of trackline were surveyed between the longitudes of 14 degrees W and 36 degrees E with an emphasis on regions with low survey effort. Survey tracklines were designed to provide even coverage probability with random start points. Ten cetacean species were positively identified (sperm whale, fin whale, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, long-finned pilot whale, Risso's dolphin, common bottlenose dolphin, rough-toothed dolphin, striped dolphin and short-beaked common dolphin). Several of these species, plus sei whale and harbour porpoise, were also encountered in the Atlantic contiguous area (the entrance waters of the Mediterranean between the Iberian Peninsula and north-west Morocco). These surveys expand and clarify the known distributions of cetaceans within the Mediterranean basin. New species documented from Libyan waters include sperm whale, striped dolphin and rough-toothed dolphin. False killer whales and rough-toothed dolphins were documented for the first time off Cyprus. Live harbour porpoises were seen for the first time on Morocco's Atlantic seaboard. It is suggested that the status of rough-toothed dolphins in the Mediterranean be revised from visitor to regular species. Substantial new information on encounter rates is now available for the planning of a basin-wide systematic survey of cetaceans within the Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic waters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1599
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Volume90
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Mediterranean Sea
  • cetacean
  • distribution
  • visual surveys
  • BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHINS
  • COMMON DOLPHINS
  • MARINE MAMMALS
  • SOUTHERN SPAIN
  • ALBORAN SEA
  • ABUNDANCE
  • CONSERVATION
  • WATERS
  • ECOLOGY
  • SLOPE

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Encounter rates of cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this