University of Valencia cetacean surveys in the Spanish Mediterranean 2000-2003
Patricia Gozalbes Aparicio, Marine Zoology Unit, University of Valencia

Dataset credit

Juan Antonio Raga, Marine Zoology Unit, University of Valencia


Primary contact Patricia Gozalbes Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva. Unidad de Zoología Marina
Data entry Connie Kot Duke University



The study area comprised the waters of the Valencia and Murcia Regions (central Spanish Mediterranean), from the coastline to between 30 to 80 km offshore, with depths ranging from 10 m to 2,800 m. Seasonal line transect surveys were conducted from June 2000 to March 2003. Transects followed a systematic saw-tooth pattern that covered the area representatively (Buckland et al. 2001). The fieldwork platform was a high-wing aircraft (“push-pull” Cessna 337) flying at an altitude of 152 m (500 ft) and at a groundspeed of approximately 166 km/h (90 knots). Two observers, positioned on each side of the aircraft, scanned the sea surface and a recorder took note of data reported: species, number of animals, location (obtained from a GPS), time, and environmental conditions, including Beaufort sea state. Environmental conditions were updated whenever changes occurred and GPS provided a continuous record of position (updated every few seconds). Surveys were conducted only in good sighting conditions of Beaufort sea state less than 3.


Seasonal aerial surveys were conducted in central Spanish Mediterranean waters from 2000 to 2003 to obtain information on the distribution of cetacean species with the aim of delimiting marine protected areas (MPAs) for their conservation.

Supplemental information



Gómez de Segura, A. 2006. Abundancia y distribución de cetáceos y tortugas marinas en el mediterráneo español. Tesis Doctoral. Facultad de Biología de la Universidad de Valencia. 148 pp.
Gómez de Segura, A., P.S. Hammond, A. Cañadas and J.A. Raga. 2007. Comparing cetacean abundance estimates derived from spatial models and design based line transect methods. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 329: 289-299.
Gómez de Segura, A., P.S. Hammond and J.A. Raga. 2008. Influence of environmental factors on small cetacean distribution in the Spanish Mediterranean and its conservational applications. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 88: 1185–1192.



Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
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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 (created by OBIS-SEAMAP)
recRecord number
latitudeLatitude of observation
longitudeLongitude of observation
originlatOriginal latitude
originlongOriginal longitude
obs_dateDate of observation
obs_timeTime of observation
groupszGroup size
obs_countNumber of animals
sp_obsSpecies observed
sp_tsnSpecies ITIS TSN
dataownData owner
notesNotes of when time was not available and "00:00:00" was used; when range was recorded for group size and minimum number of used; when group size was not available and "1" was used
Marine mammals338
Sea turtles1,215
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2000-02-22
Date, End2003-03-20
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude37.17 - 40.68
Longitude-1.55 - 1.48
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Contr. throughACCOBAMS
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
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