DUML vessel-based line transect surveys for proposed Onslow Bay USWTR site 2007-2010
Duke University Marine Laboratory

Dataset credit

Duke University Marine Laboratory


Primary contact Kim Urian Duke University Marine Laboratory
Data entry Connie Kot Duke University



The United States (US) Navy proposed constructing an Undersea Warfare Training Range (USWTR) along the US Atlantic coast. One of the proposed sites within the Cherry Point (CHPT) OPAREA is an area of 1,713 km2 in Onslow Bay, 87 km from the coast of North Carolina. We established a monitoring program designed to estimate density and document distribution and seasonal residency of marine mammals and sea turtles in the proposed USWTR. We established ten 40 nm long transect lines, spaced approximately 5 nm apart. These ten transect lines were surveyed by both shipboard (Duke University Marine Lab) and aerial platforms (conducted by University of North Carolina Wilmington). The survey area incorporates a variety of habitats from shallow waters of the shelf to the continental slope; the Gulf Stream meanders through the eastern portion of the survey area, flowing towards the northeast. The surveys began in June 2007 and have transitioned into ongoing photo-ID and biopsy sampling surveys.


The primary objectives of these surveys are to:
(1) document species occurrence, estimate densities, and examine patterns of residency of marine mammals and turtles in the defined study area,
(2) conduct seabird counts concurrent with the visual surveys, and
(3) supplement the visual surveys with acoustic monitoring using a towed hydrophone array.
The towed array will facilitate compilation of an acoustic library of species-specific recordings.
This is a collaborative project with University of North Carolina Wilmington and the Research Unit for Wildlife Population Assessment, Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

Supplemental information

4-21-2011: This dataset has been updated to include 2008-2010 sightings. Records that did not include time were filled with 00:00:00 and noted in the [Notes] field. Effort data associated with the additional sightings are forthcoming.
3-19-2013: Additional survey data for the Onslow Bay USWTR site are available on OBIS-SEAMAP in the "DUML vessel-based photo-id and biopsy surveys in Onslow Bay CHPT OPAREA 2011-2013" dataset.




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.

Attributes in dataset provided

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
obs_dateDate of observation
obs_timeTime of observation
effortEffort (on or off)
latitudeLatitude of observation
longitudeLongitude of observation
depthObserved depth (meters)
tempObserved temperature (degrees Celsius)
sp_obsSpecies observed
obs_countNumber of animals observed
sp_tsnSpecies ITIS TSN
Marine mammals130
Sea turtles118
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial1
Non species0
Date, Begin2007-06-07
Date, End2010-10-10
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude33.41 - 34.27
Longitude-77.14 - -76.03
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 434)
Traveled (km)2,057
Effort hours116
Contr. throughNavy
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Also availalbe from iOBIS
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