NEFSC Aerial Survey - Experimental 2002

NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC)

Dataset credit

NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC)


Primary contact Debi Palka NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Data entry Sloan Freeman Duke University



The survey was conducted on the NOAA DeHavilland Twin Otter DHC-6, Series 300 aircraft from 19 July to 16 August 2002. The flights were based out of Otis Airbase from 19 July to 2 August 2002, and based out of Hancock County/Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton, Maine from 2 August to 16 August 2002. The southern border of the study area was south of Long Island, New York, the northern border was in the Bay of Fundy north of St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, the western border was the United States coastline, and the eastern border was about 64.5 deg W (west of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).


The primary objective of this survey is to determine the feasibility of the circle-back method that estimates abundance of cetaceans and turtles, which includes an estimate of g(0), the probability of detecting a group on the track line. First, the practical issues of conducting the survey in the field will be assessed, and then the analytical issues will be investigated after the data are collected. The secondary objective is to estimate the abundance of animals using this new method. The third objective is to collect sea surface temperature information during the survey to be used to describe the habitat of the different cetacean and turtle species.

Supplemental information

3/8/06: Data correction - sightings of humpback whale were mistakenly linked to Balaenidae (180531) and are now linked to Megaptera novaeangliae (180530).

In addition to the sighting data, effort data were recorded every half hour or whenever conditions changed. This dataset, therefore, should be used with the effort data.




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
cruiseCruise ID
yearYear of observation
monthMonth of observation
dayDay of observation
timeTime of the observation (local time)
latLatitude of observation
longLongitude of observation
speciesSpecies observed
sizebNumber of animals
transectTransect ID
legLeg ID
blankkept blank
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
Marine mammals332
Sea turtles7
Rays and sharks0
Other species216
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2002-07-20
Date, End2002-08-10
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude40.01 - 44.64
Longitude-72.20 - -64.92
Coord. prec.3 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 108)
Traveled (km)6,868
Effort hours34
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