Distribution and Abundance of fin whales in the European Atlantic
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AuthorsMacLeod, K. (Kelly); Burt, L. (Louise); Cañadas, A. (Ana); Lens, S. (Santiago); Rogan, E. (Emer); Santos, M.B. (María Begoña); Uriarte, A. (Ainhize); Van-Canneyt, O. (Olivier); Vázquez, J.A. (José Antonio); Hammond, P.S. (Philip)
The abundance of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) was generated from data collected during shipboard sightings surveys as part of the Cetacean Offshore Distribution and Abundance in the European Atlantic project (CODA). The survey area covered offshore waters beyond the continental shelf of Britain, Ireland, France and Spain. The area was stratified into four blocks and was surveyed by five ships during July 2007. Double platform methods employing the trial-configuration method (BT-method) were used. Abundance was estimated using the Mark-Recapture Line Transect design-based method and also model-based methods using density surface modelling. Estimates from the two methods were comparable but model-based methods improved the precision and were considered best estimates. The total abundance estimated for the entire survey area was 9,019 (CV=0.11) fin whales. This is likely to be underestimated because it excludes unidentified large whales, of which a large proportion were likely to have ...