Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Cetacean rapid assessment: an approach to fill knowledge gaps and target conservation across large data deficient areas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Abstract

1. Many species and populations of marine megafauna are undergoing substantial declines, while many are also very poorly understood. Even basic information on species presence is unknown for tens of thousands of kilometres of coastline, particularly in the developing world, which is a major hurdle to their conservation.
2. Rapid ecological assessment is a valuable tool used to identify and prioritize areas for conservation; however, this approach has never been clearly applied to marine cetaceans. Here a rapid assessment protocol is outlined that will generate broad‐scale, quantitative, baseline data on cetacean communities and potential threats, that can be conducted rapidly and cost-effectively across whole countries, or regions.
3. The rapid assessment was conducted in Tanzania, East Africa, and integrated collection of data on cetaceans from visual, acoustic, and interview surveys with existing information from multiple sources, to provide low resolution data on cetacean community relative abundance, diversity, and threats. Four principal threats were evaluated and compared spatially using a qualitative scale: cetacean mortality in fishing gear (particularly gillnets); cetacean hunting, consumption or use by humans; shipping related collision risk and noise disturbance; and dynamite fishing.
4. Ninety‐one groups of 11 species of marine mammal were detected during field surveys. Potentially the most important area for cetaceans was the Pemba Channel, a deep, high‐current waterway between Pemba Island and mainland Africa, where by far the highest relative cetacean diversity and high relative abundance were recorded, but which is also subject to threats from fishing.
5. A rapid assessment approach can be applied in data deficient areas to quickly provide information on cetaceans that can be used by governments and managers for marine spatial planning, management of developments, and to target research activities into the most important locations.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-230
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date5 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Cetaceans, Distribution, Environmental impact assessement, Management, Marine spatial planning, Rapid assessment, Tanzania

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Acoustic monitoring to document the spatial distribution and hotspots of blast fishing in Tanzania

    Braulik, G., Wittich, A., MacAulay, J., Kasuga, M., Gordon, J., Davenport, T. R. B. & Gillespie, D., 15 Dec 2017, In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. 125, 1-2, p. 360-366

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Large scale surveys for cetaceans: line transect assumptions, reliability of abundance estimates and improving survey efficiency – A response to MacLeod

    Hammond, P. S., Gillespie, D. M., Lovell, P., Samarra, F. I. P., Swift, R. J., Macleod, K., Tasker, M. L., Berggren, P., Borchers, D. L., Burt, M. L., Paxton, C. G. M., Canadas, A., Desportes, G., Donovan, G. P., Gilles, A., Lehnert, K., Siebert, U., Gordon, J. C. D., Leaper, R., Leopold, M. & 8 others, Scheidat, M., Oien, N., Ridoux, V., Rogan, E., Skov, H., Teilmann, J., Van Canneyt, O. & Vazquez, J. A., Feb 2014, In: Biological Conservation. 170, p. 338-339

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

  3. Cetacean abundance and distribution in European Atlantic shelf waters to inform conservation and management

    Hammond, P. S., Macleod, K., Berggren, P., Borchers, D. L., Burt, M. L., Cañadas, A., Desportes, G., Donovan, G. P., Gilles, A., Gillespie, D. M., Gordon, J. C. D., Hiby, L., Kuklik, I., Leaper, R., Lehnert, K., Leopold, M., Lovell, P., Øien, N., Paxton, C. G. M., Ridoux, V. & 11 others, Rogan, E., Samarra, F. I. P., Scheidat, M., Sequeira, M., Siebert, U., Skov, H., Swift, R. J., Tasker, M., Teilmann, J., Van Canneyt, O. & Vázquez, J. A., Aug 2013, In: Biological Conservation. 164, p. 107-122

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Assessing pinniped bycatch mortality with uncertainty in abundance and post-release mortality: a case study from Chile

    Punt, A. E., Sepúlveda, M., Siple, M. C., Moore, J. R., Francis, T. B., Hammond, P. S., Heinemann, D., Long, K. J., Oliva, D., Reeves, R. R., Sigurðsson, G. M., Víkingsson, G., Wade, P. R., Williams, R. & Zerbini, A. N., Mar 2021, In: Fisheries Research. 235, 14 p., 105816.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems (Journal)

    Monica Arso Civil (Reviewer)

    Jul 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Occurence of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the Gulf of Trieste and the northern Adriatic Sea

    Genov, T., Kotnjek, P. & Centrih, T., 12 Aug 2020, In: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Early View, 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Return to sender: the influence of larval behaviour on the distribution and settlement of the European oyster Ostrea edulis

    Rodriguez-Perez, A., Sanderson, W. G., Møller, L. F., Henry, T. B. & James, M., 12 Nov 2020, In: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 30, 11, p. 2116-2132 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Age–length relationships in UK harbour seals during a period of population decline

    Hall, A. J., Mackey, B., Kershaw, J. L. & Thompson, P., 6 Sep 2019, In: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 61-70 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Assessing cetacean body condition: is total lipid content in blubber biopsies a useful monitoring tool?

    Kershaw, J. L., Brownlow, A., Ramp, C. A., Miller, P. J. O. & Hall, A. J., 6 Sep 2019, In: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 271-282 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Automated detection and tracking of marine mammals: a novel sonar tool for monitoring effects of marine industry

    Hastie, G. D., Wu, G-M., Moss, S., Jepp, P., MacAulay, J. D. J., Lee, A., Sparling, C. E., Evers, C. H. M. & Gillespie, D. M., 6 Sep 2019, In: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 119-130

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 250475158

Top