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Title: Assessing cetacean populations in the Mariana Archipelago: A summary of data and analyses arising from Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center surveys from 2010–2019
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2020-09
Abstract:

The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Cetacean Research Program has conducted research on cetaceans in the Mariana Archipelago since 2010. A cooperative effort with funding from U.S. Navy Pacific Feet and PIFSC has included summer and winter small-boat surveys off the southernmost islands (Saipan, Tinian, Aguijan, Rota, and Guam); shipboard visual and passive acoustic surveys in portions of the EEZ in 2010, 2015, and 2018; development of photo-identification catalogs; and analyses of collected tissue samples and satellite telemetry tag data. PIFSC has also carried out long-term passive acoustic monitoring on moored recorders off Saipan and Tinian (since 2010) and off Pagan (since 2015) as part of the Pacific Islands Passive Acoustic Network (PIPAN) and deployed drifting acoustic recorders for examination of beaked whale and other cetacean distribution during the 2018 shipboard survey. The goal of these efforts has been to collect the data necessary to conduct the first population assessments for cetaceans within the Mariana Archipelago, including the determination of their occurrence, population structure and abundance, movements, distribution, and habitat use. In addition, these data may be used to evaluate the potential exposure of cetaceans to human-caused stressors within the waters surrounding the Mariana Archipelago including U.S. Navy operations (e.g., sonar, use of explosives), fisheries interactions, and dolphin tourism.

This report summarizes the surveys, data collection, and analyses conducted by PIFSC for cetaceans within the Mariana Archipelago to evaluate the current state of the data with respect to the overall goal of cetacean population assessment. Identification photos and encounter data from surveys conducted by other researchers were contributed by the U.S. Navy for incorporation into the PIFSC data sets for a variety of species and are therefore also represented

in the summary reported here. The report is not intended to be an exhaustive review of all cetacean effort conducted in the archipelago, though all significant survey efforts, including those not conducted by PISFC are referenced and, on occasion, discussed in greater detail. A total of 20 cetacean species have been observed or acoustically detected by PIFSC within the Mariana Archipelago. During small-boat surveys in the southern islands from 2010-2019, 14

species of cetaceans were seen, including spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens), melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra), pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima), Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) and striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) were observed during PIFSC shipboard visual surveys in 2015 and 2018. Passive acoustic monitoring has provided occurrence data on additional species not yet sighted, including

Longman's beaked whale (Indopacetus pacificus), an unknown species of beaked whale (referred to as the Cross Seamount beaked whale, or BWC), blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (B. physalus), and minke whales (B. acutorostrata).

Although data are sparse for many species, the aggregate of all data collected to date reveal insights into the distribution and population structure for several species, and adequate data are available to assess abundance and movement patterns for others. The bulk of available data come from surveys near the southern islands, limiting the geographic extent of the conclusions to date. Shipboard visual survey data collected by PIFSC are not currently adequate to conduct abundance analyses for the broader archipelago, though do provide important data on encounter rate and can inform survey design for a dedicated line-transect abundance survey in the future.

Other Citation Details:

Hill MC, Oleson EM, Bradford AL, Martien KK, Steel D, Baker S. 2020. Assessing cetacean populations in the Mariana Archipelago: A summary of data and analyses arising from Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center surveys from 2010 to 2019. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-108, 98 p. doi:10.25923/wrye-6h14

DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.25923/wrye-6h14

Keywords

Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
UNCONTROLLED
None biopsy
None cetaceans
None photo-identification
None satellite tagging

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
UNCONTROLLED
None Mariana Archipelago

Physical Location

Organization: Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
City: Honolulu
State/Province: HI
Country: USA

Document Information

Document Type: Technical Memorandum (Tech Mem
Format: Acrobat Portable Document Format
Status Code: Published

Support Roles

Author

CC ID: 771219
Date Effective From: 2020
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Hill, Marie C
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
USA
Email Address: marie.hill@noaa.gov
Phone: (808)725-5710

Co-Author

CC ID: 1171006
Date Effective From: 2020-09
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Bradford, Amanda L
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
USA
Email Address: amanda.bradford@noaa.gov
Phone: (808)725-5714
Business Hours: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Co-Author

CC ID: 771218
Date Effective From: 2020
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Oleson, Erin M
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
USA
Email Address: erin.oleson@noaa.gov
Phone: (808)725-5712
Business Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Data Steward

CC ID: 771215
Date Effective From: 2006
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Hill, Marie C
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
USA
Email Address: marie.hill@noaa.gov
Phone: (808)725-5710

Distributor

CC ID: 771216
Date Effective From: 2006
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC)
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
USA
Email Address: pifsc.info@noaa.gov
Phone: 808-725-5360
URL: https://www.pifsc.noaa.gov
Business Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 771217
Date Effective From: 2006
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Hill, Marie C
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
USA
Email Address: marie.hill@noaa.gov
Phone: (808)725-5710

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 1171005
Start Date: 2020-09
End Date: Present
Download URL: https://repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/27082
Distributor:
File Type: PDF

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 53523
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:53523
Metadata Record Created By: Marie C Hill
Metadata Record Created: 2018-09-05 15:45+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2022-10-20 02:17+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2022-05-06
Owner Org: PIFSC
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2022-05-06
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2023-05-06