Abundance and Trend of Belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) in Cook Inlet, Alaska, June 2021 and June 2022
AFSC Process Report 2023-03.
NOAA Fisheries has conducted aerial surveys to estimate the abundance of the beluga population in Cook Inlet, Alaska, between late May and early July from 1993 to 2012, after which biennial surveys during the even years began in 2014. However, the survey scheduled for 2020 was postponed until 2021 due to Covid-19, leading to consecutive surveys in 2021 and 2022. The current document presents abundance estimates and the population trend based on video and counting passes collected during late June 2021 and early June 2022 using analytical methods developed by Boyd et al. (2019).