Virginia CZM Wind Energy Area Survey- Right side - January 2014 through March 2016

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Dataset credit

Virginia Aquarium Foundation - Sarah D. Mallette, Gwen G. Lockhart, Susan G. Barco
University of North Carolina Wilmington - William A. McLellan, Ryan J. McAlarney Erin W. Cummings and D. Ann Pabst


Primary contact Sue Barco Virginia Aquarium Foundation-Research
Secondary contact Gwen Lockhart Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University


Mallette S.D., Lockhart G G., McAlarney R.J., Cummings E.W., Pabst D. A., McLellan W.A., Barco S.G. 2016. Offshore Energy Planning: Documenting Megafauna off Virginia’s Coast Using Aerial Surveys. VAQF Scientific Report. 2016-04.


The data provided were collected as part of the Documenting Whale Migration off Virginia's Coast for Use in Marine Spatial Planning project - funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program Grant Section 306 Environmental Enhancement Program Strategy Project of Special Merit.

NA14NOS4190141 Jan 2014 - March 2016

Aerial surveys were conducted under NOAA Scientific Permits No. 948-1692-00 and 16473, held by UNCW.


On November 1, 2013, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced Dominion Virginia Power was the provisional winner of the commercial lease area offshore of Virginia (VA WEA). Development of off shore wind energy poses potential threats to marine mammals, including direct effects (i.e.vessel interactions, collision and entanglement with structures, displacement, avoidance, or injury due to noise from construction or operations) and indirect threats (i.e. effects on prey species, increased risk of fishery and vessel interaction through displacement out of the WEA) (BOEM 2012). This information is important to mitigate the potentially harmful impacts from ocean development, shipping, and other anthropogenic activities. To address these existing data gaps, we have collected marine mammal and sea turtle sighting data from aerial surveys conducted off the coast of Virginia from November 2012 to December 2016.

Supplemental information

The sightings are split into the left and right sides. The sightings from the left side are available in

Opportunistic sightings (eventcode=10.0) are not included.

Effort data (tracklines) are available upon request and permission from the provider.


Mallette S.D., Lockhart G G., McAlarney R.J., Cummings E.W., Pabst D. A., McLellan W.A., Barco S.G. 2016. Offshore Energy Planning: Documenting Megafauna off Virginia’s Coast Using Aerial Surveys. VAQF Scientific Report. 2016-04.



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.
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
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
objectidUnique ID number
monthMonth of the sighting
waypointWaypoint number generated by GPS
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
trackTrack number
observerObserver left or right
bsssea state
cloudCloud cover code
glarelGlare Left code
glarerGlare Right code
angleoutVertical angle is given in rough increments of 20 degrees with 1 being directly on the trackline and 4 being anything outside of survey wide to horiz
sightingcueSighting cue code
speciesSpecies name recorded
reliabilityReliability code
min_countMinimum number of animals
max_countMaximum number of animals
best_countBest estimate of number of animals
commentsComments about sighting
visibilityVisibility code
eventcodeEvent code
degreeforwardDegree forward is given assuming the nose of the plane is 0 degrees and directly off the wing is 90 degrees – measurements are taken from 1-180 on each side of the plane
datetimeobservation date time in Eastern Standard Time
contractFunding Source
tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
datetime_iniInternal use
latitude_iniInternal use
longitude_iniInternal use
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals14
Sea turtles162
Rays and sharks29
Other species16
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2015-01-20
Date, End2015-11-01
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude36.61 - 37.27
Longitude-75.97 - -74.83
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics