New publication in Volume 11


Estimates of the abundance of cetaceans in the central North Atlantic based on the NASS Icelandic and Faroese shipboard surveys conducted in 2015 is the third article in NAMMCO Scientific Publications Volume 11: Sightings Surveys in the North Atlantic: 30 years of counting whales. The authors are Daniel G. Pike, Thorvaldur Gunnlaugsson, Bjarni Mikkelsen, Sverrir D. Halldórsson and Gísli Víkingsson.

The North Atlantic Sightings Survey (NASS), the sixth in a series of surveys conducted between 1987 and 2015, was conducted in June/July 2015 and covered a large area of the northern North Atlantic. The Icelandic and Faroese ship survey component of the NASS covered the area between the Faroe Islands and East Greenland from latitude 52° to 72° N. The survey used 3 vessels and an independent double-platform configuration with each platform staffed by a minimum of 2 observers. Here we present both uncorrected abundance estimates derived using Multiple Covariates Distance Sampling, and corrected abundance estimates derived using Mark-Recapture Distance Sampling, for the following species: fin (Balaenoptera physalus), common minke (B. acutorstrata), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), blue (B. musculus), sei (B. borealis), sperm (Physeter macrocephalus), long-finned pilot (Globicephala melas) and northern bottlenose (Hyperoodon ampullatus) whales as well as white-beaked (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and white-sided (L. acutus) dolphins. We then compare these estimates to those from previous NASS and put them into context with estimates from adjoining areas of the North Atlantic.