Sightings from R/V Song of the Whale during the winter 2019 MAPS survey (NMFS permit 14809)

Marine Conservation Research

Dataset credit

Oliver Boisseau, Marine Conservation Research International


Primary contact Oliver Boisseau Song of the Whale team, MCR International
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University


Boisseau, O. 2019. Sightings from R/V Song of the Whale during the winter 2019 MAPS survey (NMFS permit 14809). Data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP ( on yyyy-mm-dd.


The dataset contains all sightings of cetaceans and other megafuana made during the MAPS winter cruise in Jan/Feb 2019 (NMFS permit 14809). When conductiong visual effort, two observers were situated either side of R/V Song of the Whale on an observation platform with an approximate eye-height of 5.5 m above sea-level during daylight hours. The observers scanned the trackline and in front of the vessel using naked eye; 7 x 50 binoculars were used to identify species and estimate group size. During periods of bad weather, observers were stationed on deck with an approximate eye-height of 3.5 m above sea-level.


The MAPS (Marine Mammal Passive Acoustics and Spatial Ecology) cruises form part of a BOEM project to describe the distribution and behaviour of deep-diving cetaceans in the offshore waters of North Carolina (NMFS permit 14809). MAPS is a cooperative agreement between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the University of North Carolina Wilmington in partnership with Duke University.

Supplemental information

Environmental attributes were recorded less frequently than the GPS data and not all GPS records get environmental attributes attached.




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)
order_Chronological order of sightings
indexOriginal index
gpsindexGPS index
gpstimeGPS time of sighting (UTC)
sightingnoSighting number during the survey
datetime_utcDate and time of sighting (UTC)
platformPlatform (A-frame or deck)
buttonrefReference number for sighting
magbearingMagnetic bearing to sighting
angleRelative bearing to sighting
anglesourceAngle source (magnetic or relative)
estdistanceEstimated distance to the animals sighted
species_nameSpecies name
speciesSpecies code by provider
species2Species code of second species in a mixed group
confidenceConfidence of species ID
cueInitial cue for the sighting
minnoMinimum number of animals
maxnoMaximum number of animals
adultsNumber of adults in group (if identifiable)
juvenilesNumber of juveniles in group (if identifiable)
calvesNumber of calves in group (if identifiable)
birdsBirds associated with sighting (Y/N)
seenbySeen by (observer initials)
sightingeffortEffort status for sighting (dedicated or incidental)
orientationAspect of animal(s) when first seen (relative to vessel)
headingHeading of animal(s) when first seen (relative to vessel)
behaviour1Behaviour code 1 (if any)
behaviour2Behaviour code 2 (if any)
behaviour3Behaviour code 3 (if any)
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
sotw_headingHeading of vessel (true degrees)
sotw_speedSpeed over ground of vessel (knots)
radialRadial (relative) bearing to sighting
seastateSea state
waveheightWave height (m)
swellSwell (m)
weatherWeather code
cloudcoverCloud cover (out of 10)
visibilityVisibility (1=poor, 3=good)
pressurePressure (mb)
intensityGlare intensity (0=none, 2=severe)
glarestartStart angle of any glare (degrees relative to vessel)
glarestopStop angle of any glare (degrees relative to vessel)
sailstartStart angle of any sails (degrees relative to vessel)
sailstopStop angle of any sails (degrees relative to vessel)
reticlesBinocular reticles to sighting (if used)
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
datetimeDate and time of observation (local time)
obs_countbest estimate of number of animals
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals59
Sea turtles1
Rays and sharks2
Other species2
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2019-01-17
Date, End2019-02-23
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude32.33 - 36.65
Longitude-77.45 - -73.61
Coord. prec.5 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 2000)
Traveled (km)5,305
Effort hours581
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
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See metadata in FGDC XML
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