SEFSC GoMex Oceanic 1994

NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC)

Dataset credit

Southeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA


Primary contact Lance Garrison NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Data entry Benjamin Best Duke University



A spring marine mammals survey in Gulf of Mexico was conducted in 1994 by NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center to examine the diversity, distribution and estimate abundance of marine mammals in U.S. waters. The survey was aimed at meeting the responsibilities under the provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The survey was taken place along with Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP). In addition, it was conducted in coordination with the Japanese vessel SHOYO MARU and a larval transport survey in the Florida Keys.

This dataset contains sightings of not only cetaceans but also other species including sea turtles, fish and shark observed during the ship survey.

During the survey, at least 18 species were sighted, including

Atlantic spotted dolphin
Clymene dolphin
Cuvier’s beaked whale
Dwarf sperm whale
Dwarf/pygmy sperm whale
False killer whale
Humpback whale
Killer whale
Melon-headed whale
Northern right whale
Pantropical spotted dolphin
Pygmy sperm whale
Risso's dolphin
Rough-toothed dolphin
Short/Long-finned pilot whale
Sperm whale
Spinner dolphin
Standard Bottlenose dolphin
Striped dolphin

The dataset is accompanied by transect data which is provided as a separate file.


The purpose of this survey is to examine the distribution and estimate abundance of cetaceans in U.S. waters.

Specific objectives of this survey are:

1. Complete a line transect survey of the study area for marine mammals during daylight hours.

2. Collect ichthyoplankton with bongo and double neuston trawl gear for estimates of abundance of eggs, larvae and small juveniles, particularly those of bluefin tuna.

3. Obtain associated environmental and oceanographic data.

4. Record data on marine life, seabirds and debris encountered during line transects.

5. Obtain marine mammal biopsy samples for analysis.

6. Collect tar samples encountered during neuston sampling SEAMAP stations for analysis.

Supplemental information

[2020-09-30] The following invalid species names were corrected according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Bonaparte's Gull: Larus philadelphia (176839) => Chroicocephalus philadelphia (824040)
Bridled Tern: Sterna anaethetus (176897) => Onychoprion anaethetus (824104)
Gull-billed Tern: Sterna nilotica (176926) => Gelochelidon nilotica (176882)
Laughing Gull: Larus atricilla (176837) => Leucophaeus atricilla (824079)
Least Tern: Sterna antillarum (176923) => Sternula antillarum (824127)
Royal Tern: Sterna maxima (176922) => Thalasseus maximus (824142)
Sandwich Tern: Sterna sandvicensis (176927) => Thalasseus sandvicensis (176932)
Sooty Tern: Sterna fuscata (176894) => Onychoprion fuscatus (824105)


NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center. 1994. Cruise Results; Marine Mammal Survey and Spring Southeast Are Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP) Ichthyoplankton Survey; NOAA Ship Oregon II Cruise OT-94-01 (209).



The dataset contains information necessary to locate the species sightings observed in the survey. The structure of the dataset was defined by NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Note that the dataset is a subset of the larger, complete dataset collected in the survey which includes environmental information. The columns before LineNo are applied to the shapefile only. The following information is not included in the dataset but will be found in the master data. For details, please contact NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Track; Speed; GPS Status; Observers; Wind direction; Weather; Sea state; Swell; Visibility; Turbidity; Sunlight; Water depth; Water color; Water temperature; Sighting angle; Effort status.

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
linenoLine number
cruisenoCruise No.
dateDate of the sighting
timeTime of the sighting (local time)
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
trackTrack No
gpswarningGPS Warning
leftobsLeft observer
rightobsRight observer
datarcdrdefinition not provided
weatherWeather code
seastateSea state
versunposVertical sun position
radsunposRadial sun position
watercolorWater color
sightingnoSighting No.
shipidShip ID
oneffortIndicator of on or off effort
watertempWater temperature in degree Celsius
waterdepthWater depth
spcodeSpecies code defined by provider
species_tsnITIS Taxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
speciesSpecies name
scientificSpecies scientific name.
herdsizeHerd size
calvesNumber of calves
ontransectIndicator of on or off transect
cookiecttrCookie cutter
gpclassGP class
behaviorBehavior code
cuetimeCue time
cuelatCue latitude
cuelonCue longitude
obsposObserver position
obscodeObservation code
wdepthmWater depth in meters
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
Marine mammals286
Sea turtles7
Rays and sharks4
Other species992
Non spatial0
Non species344
Date, Begin1994-04-16
Date, End1994-06-09
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude24.30 - 29.95
Longitude-95.82 - -83.98
Coord. prec.4 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 20)
Traveled (km)5,832
Effort hours305
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC0 no rights reserved
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
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