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Short Citation:
NMFS Office of Science and Technology, 2023: Predictive Models of Cetacean Densities in the Hawaiian Islands EEZ, 2019,

Item Identification

Title: Predictive Models of Cetacean Densities in the Hawaiian Islands EEZ, 2019
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2019-10-21

A predictive habitat-based model of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) density for waters within the Hawaiian Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) was developed based on systematic ship survey data collected in waters of the Main Hawaiian Islands in February 2009. Potential habitat variables included bathymetric depth and a suite of dynamic outputs from the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model. The final habitat model exhibited high explanatory power based on established metrics and comparison of model-predicted absolute density to observed patterns of relative density around the Main Hawaiian Islands. The model was then used to create spatial predictions of humpback whale density and measures of uncertainty for the entire Hawaiian Islands EEZ. Predictions outside the original survey area were validated based on previously published predictions of relative density throughout the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The resulting model provides spatially explicit density predictions at a scale of approximately 9km x 9km kilometers and provides a tool for assessing potential impacts to humpback whales within the Hawaiian Islands EEZ.


These models have been used by the Navy and others to assess potential impacts on cetaceans in compliance with U.S. regulations such as the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act, which require species specific assessments of the number of animals potentially affected by their activities.


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
None cetacean
None density
None distribution
None Megaptera novaeangliae

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Hawaii Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: Irregular
Data Presentation Form: Map (digital)
Data Set Credit: CREDIT: Becker, E.A., K.A. Forney, E.M. Oleson, and S. Hanser. 2019. Habitat-based density models for humpback whales in the Hawaiian Islands EEZ. Final Report. Prepared for U.S. Pacific Fleet. Submitted to Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii under Contract No. N62742-14-D-1863, issued to ManTech-SRS, Arlington, VA. ORIGINATORS: Southwest Fisheries Science Center;

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 999827
Date Effective From: 2018-06
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Haverland, Timothy J
Address: 1315 East West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282
Email Address:
Phone: 301-427-8137
Fax: 301-713-4137


CC ID: 999828
Date Effective From: 2018-06
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): NMFS Office of Science and Technology (OST)
Address: 1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-427-8100
Business Hours: 0700 - 1800 EST/EDT

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 999830
Date Effective From: 2018-06
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Haverland, Timothy J
Address: 1315 East West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282
Email Address:
Phone: 301-427-8137
Fax: 301-713-4137

Point of Contact

CC ID: 999829
Date Effective From: 2018-06
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Forney, Karin A
Address: 7544 Sandholdt Rd
Moss Landing, CA 95039
Email Address:
Phone: 831-771-4155
Fax: (858) 546-7003
Business Hours: M-F 8:00 - 16:30


Currentness Reference: Publication Date

Extent Group 1

Extent Description:

California, Oregon, Washington, Eastern Pacific Ocean

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 999839
W° Bound: -180
E° Bound: 180
N° Bound: 31.805643
S° Bound: 15.55512

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 999838
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2009-02-01 00:00:00+0000
End: 2009-02-28 00:00:00+0000

Spatial Information

Reference Systems

Reference System 1

CC ID: 999835

Coordinate Reference System

CRS Type: Geographic 2D
EPSG Code: EPSG:4326
EPSG Name: WGS 84
See Full Coordinate Reference System Information

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Use Constraints:

*** No Warranty*** The user assumes the entire risk related to its use of these data. NMFS is providing these data "as is," and NMFS disclaims any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including (without limitation) any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the accuracy or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. It is strongly recommended that careful attention be paid to the contents of the metadata file associated with these data to evaluate dataset limitations, restrictions or intended use. In no event will NMFS be liable to you or to any third party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting from any use or misuse of these data.

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 999831
Download URL:
Distributor: NMFS Office of Science and Technology (OST) (2018-06 - Present)

Data access URL

File Type (Deprecated): File Geodatabase Feature Class
Distribution Format: ESRI File Geodatabase

Technical Environment


Microsoft Windows 10 Version 10.0 (Build 18363) ; Esri ArcGIS

Data Quality

Completeness Report:

The entire study area was divided into approximately 9km x 9km cells (around 0.08° unprojected), and density, area, and abundance calculated for each.

Conceptual Consistency:

No measure of horizontal quality was performed.



Model outputs

CC ID: 999832
Source Contribution:

Model outputs

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 999833

Outputs from models were assigned to cells in the study area.

Process Date/Time: 2020-05-11 00:00:00
Process Contact: Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC)
Phone (Voice): (858)546-7000

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Entity Attributes for all feature classes

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 63363
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:63363
Metadata Record Created By: Timothy J Haverland
Metadata Record Created: 2020-12-21 18:08+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-10-17 16:12+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2020-12-22
Owner Org: OST
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2020-12-22
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2021-12-22