NMML Small Cetacean Aerial Survey 1997

National Marine Mammal Laboratory

Dataset credit

National Marine Mammal Laboratory


Primary contact Roderick Hobbs National Marine Mammal Laboratory
Data entry Kimberly Goetz Duke University



Aerial surveys was conducted in 1997 progressing from east to west, to estimate abundance of the Southeast Alaska (SEA, 9,844 km survey effort), Gulf of Alaska (GOA, 10,127 km survey effort), and Bering Sea (BS, 7849 km survey effort) harbor porpoise stocks. In addition, 1355 km of survey effort during a Cook Inlet beluga survey were analyzed to add to the coverage for the GOA stock. Data from an independent observer concentrating on the trackline was used to estimate perception bias. Significant differences in g(0) and effective strip width (ESW) were found between the survey conducted in 1997 and the 1998 and 1999 surveys, therefore 1997 was treated separately. In both analyses, g(0) was dependent on visibility reported by observers, and in the 1997 data ESW was dependent as well. The 1997 survey included the inland waters of southeastern Alaska and the eastern Gulf of Alaska from Dixon Entrance to Cape Suckling


A 3-year survey began in 1997 to complete a new abundance estimate by 1999. This survey will also include an abundance estimate for Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli). Once the 3 years of surveys are completed, the data will be used to estimate annual abundance of harbor porpoise and Dall’s porpoise, which is one of the key pieces of information needed to manage marine mammal-fishery interactions, as required under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Supplemental information

Although the previous harbor porpoise surveys (1991- 1993) used a vessel platform for the inside waters of Southeast Alaska (Dahlheim et al. 1992, 1993, 1994), the current survey was conducted entirely from aircraft.




Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downloadable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission.

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
countThe number of animals
speciesSpecies code
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
Marine mammals602
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin1997-05-28
Date, End1997-07-28
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude54.45 - 60.13
Longitude-143.95 - -131.00
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 120)
Traveled (km)8,392
Effort hours53
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