SCANS II cetacean sightings on primary platform of vessel surveys 2005

Latest version published by OBIS-SEAMAP on 24 April 2021 OBIS-SEAMAP
Publication date:
24 April 2021
Published by:
CC-BY-NC 4.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 1,011 records in English (84 KB) - Update frequency: not planned
Metadata as an EML file download in English (19 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (14 KB)


Original provider: Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St. Andrews Dataset credits: Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St. Andrews Abstract: The European Union (EU) Habitats Directive requires Member States to monitor and maintain at favourable conservation status those species identified to be in need of protection, including all cetaceans. In July 2005 we surveyed the entire EU Atlantic continental shelf to generate robust estimates of abundance for harbour porpoise and other cetacean species. The survey used line transect sampling methods and purpose built data collection equipment designed to minimise bias in estimates of abundance. Shipboard transects covered 19,725 km in sea conditions <= Beaufort 4 in an area of 1,005,743 km2. Aerial transects covered 15,802 km in good/moderate conditions (<= Beaufort 3) in an area of 364,371 km2. Thirteen cetacean species were recorded; abundance was estimated for harbour porpoise (375,358; CV = 0.197), bottlenose dolphin (16,485; CV = 0.422), white-beaked dolphin (16,536; CV = 0.303), short-beaked common dolphin (56,221; CV = 0.234) and minke whale (18,958; CV = 0.347). Abundance in 2005 was similar to that estimated in July 1994 for harbour porpoise, white-beaked dolphin and minke whale in a comparable area. However, model-based density surfaces showed a marked difference in harbour porpoise distribution between 1994 and 2005. Our results allow EU Member States to discharge their responsibilities under the Habitats Directive and inform other international organisations concerning the assessment of conservation status of cetaceans and the impact of bycatch at a large spatial scale. The lack of evidence for a change in harbour porpoise abundance in EU waters as a whole does not exclude the possibility of an impact of bycatch in some areas. Monitoring bycatch and estimation of abundance continue to be essential. Supplemental information: Surveys from seven different vessels were merged. Each vessel contained two sightings platforms running concurrently – primary and tracker. This dataset includes sightings from the primary platform. Sightings from the tracker platform are registered in SCANS II cetacean sightings on tracker platform of vessel surveys 2005. Effort or vessel tracks for these surveys are provided with this dataset. Survey conditions such as sea state, glare, swell, wind are found in the effort data. In the primary platform, normal binoculars were used and distance and angle were estimated by observer on the vessel with raditional bearing board and range finder-stick.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 1,011 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Lacey, C. 2014. SCANS II cetacean sightings on primary platform of vessel surveys 2005. Data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP (http://seamap.env.duke.edu/dataset/1150) on yyyy-mm-dd.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is OBIS-SEAMAP. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 32920bfb-a28c-4cfd-a30f-b78eb1320d81.  OBIS-SEAMAP publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Ocean Biodiversity Information System.


Occurrence,Marine Animal Survey,Marine Biology,Marine mammals,Sea turtles,Visual Sighting,Vessel; Observation; Occurrence

External data

The resource data is also available in other formats

OBIS-SEAMAP Dataset Page http://seamap.env.duke.edu/dataset/1150 UTF-8 Interactive map
FGDC Metadata http://seamap.env.duke.edu/dataset/1150/xml UTF-8 XML


Claire Lacey
  • Owner
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Primary contact
Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St. Andrews
  • Metadata Provider
  • Distributor
Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University
A328 LSRC building
27708 Durham

Geographic Coverage

North Atlantic Ocean,European Atlantic shelf waters

Bounding Coordinates South West [35.96, -11.93], North East [61.99, 12.6]

Taxonomic Coverage

Scientific names are based on the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).

Subclass Elasmobranchii (cartilaginous fishes)
Order Cetacea (cetaceans), Cetacea (cetaceans), Cetacea (cetaceans), Cetacea (cetaceans)
Suborder Caniformia (pinnipeds), Odontoceti (toothed whales)
Family Delphinidae (dolphins), Delphinidae (dolphins), Delphinidae (dolphins)
Genus Lagenorhynchus (white-beaked dolphins)
Species Tursiops truncatus (Common Bottlenose Dolphin), Prionace glauca (blue shark), Cetorhinus maximus (basking shark), Ziphius cavirostris (Cuvier's Beaked Whale), Delphinus delphis (Short-beaked Common Dolphin), Balaenoptera physalus (Fin Whale), Phocoena phocoena (Harbor Porpoise), Halichoerus grypus (Atlantic gray seal), Phocoena phocoena (Harbor Porpoise), Orcinus orca (Killer Whale), Globicephala melas (Long-finned Pilot Whale), Dermochelys coriacea (Leatherback Sea Turtle), Mola mola (ocean sunfish), Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Minke Whale), Phoca vitulina (Harbor Seal), Grampus griseus (Risso's Dolphin), Stenella coeruleoalba (Striped Dolphin), Lagenorhynchus albirostris (White-beaked Dolphin), Lagenorhynchus acutus (Atlantic White-sided Dolphin)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2005-06-29 / 2005-07-28

Project Data

No Description available

Title SCANS II cetacean sightings on primary platform of vessel surveys 2005
Funding NA

The personnel involved in the project:

Claire Lacey
  • Owner

Sampling Methods


Study Extent NA

Method step description:

  1. NA

Collection Data

Collection Name zd_1150
Collection Identifier zd_1150
Parent Collection Identifier OBIS-SEAMAP

Additional Metadata

marine, harvested by iOBIS

Purpose Not available
Alternative Identifiers http://ipt.env.duke.edu/resource?r=zd_1150