Killer whales of the Caribbean Sea 1866-2012

CWOP (Caribbean-Wide Orca Project)

Dataset credit



Primary contact Jaime Bolanos Sea Vida
Secondary contact Janice Blumenthal Marine Turtle Research Group
Secondary contact Jolanda Luksenburg
Secondary contact Angiolina Henriquez
Secondary contact Andrea Bogomolni
Secondary contact Antonio Mignucci-Giannoni
Secondary contact Nelma Landrau
Secondary contact Jose Julio Casas N/A
Secondary contact Miguel Iniguez
Secondary contact Jalaludin Khan
Secondary contact Caroline Rinaldi
Secondary contact Grisel Rodriguez Ferrer
Secondary contact Lesley Sutty
Secondary contact Nathalie Ward
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University


Bolanos, J., J. Blumenthal, J. Luksenburg, A. Henriquez, A. Bogomolni, A. Mignucci-Giannoni, N. Landrau, J. Casas, M. Iniguez, J. Khan, C. Rinaldi, G. Ferrer, L. Sutty and N. Ward. 2014. Killer whales of the Caribbean Sea 1866-2012. Data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP ( on yyyy-mm-dd.


CWOP is an international cooperative initiative coordinated by Jaime Bolaños (Venezuela), Angiolina Henríquez (Aruba) and Jolanda Luksenburg (The Netherlands) that includes participation of marine mammalogists and researchers working on killer whales in the Caribbean Sea


The purpose of CWOP is centralize, analize and publish all available information on orcas sightings and records in the Caribbean Sea

Supplemental information

This dataset includes various types of data (sightings from boats and aerial surveys, takes and strandings).

References cited in the dataset:

  • Álvarez-León R (2002) Capturas comerciales con palangre en la zona económica exclusiva frente a la Guajira, Caribe de Colombia. Revista de Biología Tropical 50: 227–231.

  • Blanco-Domínguez M (2011) Ballenas y Delfines. In: Borroto-Páez R, Mancina CA (eds), Mamíferos en Cuba, UPC Print, Vasa, Finland.

  • Boisseau O, Leaper R. and Moscrop A. (2006) Observations of small cetaceans in the Eastern Caribbean. Paper SC/58/SM24 presented to the Scientific Committee, 58th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), St Kitts and Nevis.

  • Bolaños-Jiménez J, Fertl D & Iñíguez M (2009) A note on killer whale (Orcinus orca) occurrence in Venezuelan waters, 1982-2008. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 7: 75–79.

  • Caldwell DK & Caldwell MC (1969) Addition of the leatherback sea turtle to the known prey of the killer whale, Orcinus orca. Journal of Mammalogy 50: 636.

  • Caldwell DK & Caldwell MC (1975) Dolphin and small whale fisheries of the Caribbean and West Indies: Occurrence, History, and Catch Statistics — with Special Reference to the Lesser Antillean Island of St. Vincent. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 32: 1105–1110.

  • Caldwell DK, Caldwell MC, Rathjen WF & Sullivan JR (1971) Cetaceans from the Lesser Antilles Island of St. Vincent. Fishery Bulletin 69: 303–312.

  • Cuní L (1910) Contribución al estudio de los mamíferos acuáticos observados en las costas de Cuba. Tesis de Doctorado. Universidad de La Habana. 89 pp.

  • Debrot AO (1998) New Cetacean Records for Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles. Caribbean Journal of Science 34: 168–170.

  • Debrot AO De Meyer JA & Dezentjé PJE (1998) Additional records and a review of the cetacean fauna of the leeward Dutch Antilles. Caribbean Journal of Science 34: 204–210.

  • Erdman DS (1970) Marine mammals from Puerto Rico to Antigua. Journal of Mammalogy 51: 636–639.

  • Erdman DS (1970) Marine mammals from Puerto Rico to Antigua. Journal of Mammalogy 51: 636–639.

  • Fielding R (2010) Artisanal whaling in the Atlantic: a comparative study of culture, conflict, and conservation in St. Vincent and the Faroe islands. PhD thesis, Louisiana State University, Louisiana, USA.

  • Katona SK, Beard JA, Girton PE & Wenzel F (1988) Killer whales (Orcinus orca) from the Bay of Fundy to the equator, including the Gulf of Mexico. Rit Fiskideildar 11: 205–224.

  • Magileviciute E (2007) Whales and Dolphins in Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras: preliminary observations. Utila Centre for Marine Ecology, Utila, Honduras.

  • Mannocci L, Monestiez P, Bolaños-Jiménez J, Dorémus G, Jeremie S, Laran S, Rinaldi R, Van Canneyt O & Ridoux V (2013) Megavertebrate communities from two contrasting ecosystems in the western tropical Atlantic. Journal of Marine Systems, 111-112: 208-222

  • Mignucci-Giannoni AA (1989) Zoogeography of marine mammals in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Master’s thesis, University of Rhode Island, Kingston.

  • Ottley T, Henry C, Khan A, Siung-Chang A & Sturm M (1988) Incidents involving whales in Trinidad waters during 1987. The Living World (The Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalist’s Club), Trinidad and Tobago, pp. 47.

  • Oviedo L, Esteves MA, Alfe E, Acevedo-Galindo R & Bolaños-Jiménez J (2009) Interaction between killer whales (Orcinus orca) and a leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) off northeastern Venezuela. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 2 – Biodiversity. Records online. Available electronically at

  • Price WS (1983) Status of whaling in the Lesser Antilles 1982 August update. Paper SC/35/PS1 presented to the International Whaling Commission 35th Scientific Committee, Brighton, U.K.

  • Reeves RR & Mitchell E (1988) Killer whale sightings and takes by American pelagic whalers in the North Atlantic. Rit Fiskideildar 11: 7–23.

  • Ridoux V, Certain G, Doremus G, Laran S, van Canneyt O & Watremez P (2010) Mapping diversity and relative density of cetaceans and other pelagic megafauna across the tropics: general design and progress of the REMMOA aerial surveys conducted in the French EEZ and adjacent waters. Paper SC/62/E14 presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, Agadir, Morocco, June 2010.

  • Rinaldi C, Rinaldi R & Sahagian P (2006) Report of surveys conducted on small cetaceans off Guadeloupe 1998-2005. Paper (SC/58/SM17) presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, St Kitts and Nevis, June 2006.

  • Rodríguez E, Acosta R, Pérez C, Urdaneta, T, Parada M, Cabezas EW, Fuenmayor S, Arrieche D, Gómez L, Bong J, Viloria AL & Duarte MA. 1993. Orcinus orca (Linnaeus), 1758 (Cetacea: Delphinidae) en la costa norte del Estado Zulia, Venezuela. Anartia Publ. Ocasionales Museo Biología, Maracaibo, Venezuela 4: 1–12.

  • Vidal O, Van Waerebeek K & Findley LT (1994) Cetaceans and gillnet fisheries in Mexico, Central America and the wider Caribbean: a preliminary review. Report of the International Whaling Commission 15: 221–233.


Bolaños-Jiménez, J., Mignucci-Giannoni, A., Blumenthal, J., Bogomolni, A., Casas, J.J., Henriquez, A., Iñiguez, M., Khan, J., Landrau-Giovannetti, N., Rinaldi, C., Rinaldi, R., Sutty, L., Ward, N. and Luksenburg, A. 2014. Distribution, feeding habits and morphology of killer whales Orcinus orca in the Caribbean Sea. Mammal Review. doi:10.1111/mam.12021.



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 described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
All attributes are included in the downloadable file (CSV or ESRI File Geodatabase) for "Complete Set of Dataset".

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
nrRecord number
day_orgDay in original format (some records have a range of days)
country_territoryCountry or territory
report_typeReport type (take, sighting, stranding)
lat_orgLatitude in original format
long_orgLongitude in original format
obs_countNumber of animals
bibliography_sourceReferences (see supplimental information)
obs_dateDate recorded (precision varies - see tprecision)
obs_timeTime is not provided and replaced with 00:00:00
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
sp_obsAlways killer whale. Added by OBIS-SEAMAP
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
tprecisionTemporal precision added by OBIS-SEAMAP (2: day, 1: month, 0: year, -1: inaccurate year)
lprecisionLocation precision (the number of decimal degits)
resourcesInternal use
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals173
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial3
Non species0
Date, Begin1866-05-28
Date, End2012-10-27
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude8.23 - 23.80
Longitude-88.20 - -59.17
Coord. prec.5 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
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See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics