SWFSC Marine Mammal Survey, Delphinus 2009, Cruise 1640

NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC)

Dataset credit

NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC)


Primary contact Jeffrey Moore Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA
Secondary contact Dave Weller NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The 2009 "Ecosystem Survey of Delphinus Species" research survey focused on the two species of common dolphin, Delphinus delphis and D. capensis, found off southern California, USA, and Baja California, Mexico. The primary objective was to provide information to improve conservation and management plans for these species. The project used a multidisciplinary approach. For both Delphinus species, data were collected to estimate abundance, pregnancy and birth rates, timing of reproduction, gene flow, and
contaminant concentrations. Oceanographic data were collected to characterize habitat, and data on distribution and abundance of seabirds, prey fishes, and squids were collected to further characterize the ecosystem in which these dolphins live. Photographs of dolphin schools were taken from a NOAA Twin Otter aircraft while the survey was being conducted. The aerial photographs will provide count and measurement data to calibrate observer
estimates of school size and to estimate timing of reproduction and birth rates. This research will facilitate understanding population demography of these species in an ecosystem framework. Essential information about the primary focal species, D. capensis, will greatly increase our knowledge about this coastal species and the geographic extent of a Mexico-U.S. transboundary stock. For additional information about the Delphinus cruise, please see http://swfsc.noaa.gov/prd-delphinus.aspx.


The primary objectives of the 2009 Delphinus ecosystem cruise were (1) to characterize the distribution, habitat and reproductive characteristics of long- and short-beaked common dolphins, and (2) to improve non-lethal sampling techniques for studying reproduction in wild, free-ranging cetaceans.

Supplemental information

[2021-04-13] Updated with additional attributes.

SWFSC MMTD Cruise Number: 1640
Perpendicular distance will be released upon permission by the contributor. Please contact the contributor if needed.

Attribute descriptions for effort data:
dist: Length of the segment (km)
Mode: Effort mode type (C = closing mode; P = passing mode)




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)
eventS = marine mammal sighting; t = sea turtle sighting; p = pinniped sighting
datetimeDate and time of sighting (local time)
latLatitude (decimal degrees) of vessel when sighting was made
lonLongitude (decimal degrees) of vessel when sighting was made
cruiseSWFSC Marine Mammal and Turtle Divison Cruise number
sightnoSighting number (within Cruise)
nspNumber of species observed in the sighting
mixedTRUE for a multi-species sighting (nSp >= 2); FALSE otherwise (nSp = 1)
spcodeSpecies code
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
gsspbestThe mean of all observers
gssphighThe mean of all observers
gssplowThe mean of all observers
perpdistkmPerpendicular distance (km) to sighting from trackline; Available upon permission.
bftBeaufort sea state, as assessed by looking upswell with the naked eye.
swellhghtAverage swell height from trough to crest of typical swells (estimated in feet, by eye)
visA measure of air/atmospheric clarity
groupsize_sightnoRunning count ID of all cetacean groups recorded (should be same as SightNo)
groupsize_countNumber of observers that provided a group size estimate (for calculating GsSpBest) for S events.
groupsize_count_obsNumber of unique observer codes per sighting for S events
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals1,155
Sea turtles53
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2009-09-07
Date, End2009-12-05
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude21.86 - 37.59
Longitude-122.73 - -109.73
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 1070)
Traveled (km)7,035
Effort hours385
Contr. through
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