Observer programmes to record marine mammal and seabird distribution and interactions with fishing operations in Southwest Atlantic waters
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AuthorsPierce, G.J. (Graham John); Lens, S. (Santiago); Pena, Ú. (Úrsula); Goetz, S. (Sabine); Laporta, M. (Martín); Río-Iglesias, J.L. (José Luis) del; Portela, J. (Julio); Iglesias-Martínez, S. (Sergio)
Since 1993, fishery observers from the Instituto Español de Oceanografía (lEO) have recorded incidental sightings and by-catches of marine mammals and seabirds from Spanish fishing boats in intemational waters of the southwest Atlantic. The lEO recently implemented an observer pragramme on-board research vessels in the area, recording data on marine mammal and seabird sightings. The objectives of this programme inc1ude (a) determining the distribution of marine marnmals and seabirds, (b) modelling habitat use, and (e) monitoring interactions with fishing operations. Data are collected on species present, numbers, behaviour, enviranmental conditions and interactions with fishing activities. Here we present a summary of results fram the fishery observers and a preliminary report on the results from surveys inc1uding distribution maps. The cetacean species most frequently sighted fram commercial vessels were Peale's dolphin (Lagenorhynchus australis) and hourglass dolphin (Lageno ...