AMAPPS Southeast Aerial Cruise Winter 2015
NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC)

Dataset credit

NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC)


Primary contact Laura Dias NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Secondary contact Lance Garrison NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



As part of the AMAPPS program, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center conducts aerial surveys of continental shelf waters along the US east coast from Cape Canaveral, Florida to Cape May, New Jersey. The survey was conducted during 2015 between 23 January and 3 March. It was conducted along tracklines oriented perpendicular to the shoreline that were latitudinally spaced 20 km apart aboard a NOAA Twin Otter aircraft at an altitude of 600 feet (183 m) and a speed of 110 knots. The survey was designed for analysis using Distance sampling and a two-team (independent observer) approach to correct for visibility bias in resulting abundance estimates.
The survey covered waters from Cape May, NJ to Cape Canaveral, FL including “fine-scale” tracklines in waters offshore of New Jersey. The majority of survey effort occurred in waters from Cape Hatteras, NC and south. Due to weather conditions during the survey, a few areas of the study area were not surveyed.


The goal of the survey was to conduct line-transect surveys using the Distance sampling approach to estimate the abundance and spatial distribution of marine mammals and turtles in waters over the continental shelf (shoreline to 200m isobaths) from Florida to New Jersey.

Supplemental information

Perpendicular distance to the animal is not publicly available.
The dataset is accompanied by transect (effort) data which is provided as a separate file.
Data were further audited in 2018 since publication of Annual Report in 2015.

Sightings included were detected by the forward team.

Environmental Attribute Codes
Beaufort Sea state
0 Calm, mirror like seas
1 Waves <1ft, rippled surface
2 Small wavelets (<2 ft), no white caps
3 Large wavelets (<3ft), scattered white caps
4 Swell 3-4 ft, numerous white caps
5 Swell >5 ft, many white caps, some spray
6 Swell >10 ft, white caps everywhere, spray
0 Clear
1 0-25% Cloudy
2 26-50% Cloudy
3 51-75% Cloudy
4 76-100% Cloudy
5 Overcast
0 No Glare
1 <10% of visual field
2 10-25% of visual field
3 25-50% of visual field
4 50-75% of visual field
5 >75% of visual field
0 Clear
1 Mist
2 Light Rain
3 Heavy Rain
0 Clear
1 Good
2 Fair
3 Poor
0 No
1 Yes
0 No
1 Yes
Sun penetration (Sun pen)
0 Poor
1 Fair
2 Good
3 Excellent
0 Poor
1 Fair
2 Good
3 Excellent




Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downlodable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission unless otherwise noted below.

This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes in dataset provided

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
effortidEffort ID
oid_origOID assigned by provider
typeType (Mammal or Turtle)
comnameSpecies common name
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
individualcountIndividual count
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees (WGS84)
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees (WGS84)
perpendiculardistancePerpendicular distance to the animal (m)
eventdateDate and time of the sighting at local time
transectTransect No.
beaufortBeaufort sea state
cloudcoverCloud cover code
glareGlare cover code
weatherWeather code
visibilityVisibility code
hazeHaze presence
fogFog presence
sunpenSun penetration code
turbidityTurbidity code
tripidTrip ID
platformvltsAlways A (Airplane)
oneffortFlag (Y/N) to indicate on effort.
observationheightAltitude of aircraft in feet above sea level in feet
platformspeedSpeed of the platform in knots
sighttypeSighting type ("F")
datasetidDataset ID by provider
datasetnameDataset name by provider
eventdatetimezoneThe time zone of the observation event (UTC)
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals108
Sea turtles386
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2015-01-23
Date, End2015-03-03
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude28.66 - 40.14
Longitude-81.28 - -72.56
Coord. prec.5 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 1853)
Traveled (km)6,283
Effort hours33
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Also availalbe from iOBIS
GBIF (planned)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics