Mid-Atlantic Nearshore and Mid-shelf Baleen Whale Monitoring

HDR Environmental, Operations and Construction, Inc.

Dataset credit

The U.S. Navy Marine Species Monitoring Program


Primary contact Amy Engelhaupt HDR Inc.
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The data in this dataset represent animal sightings and vessel tracks that
occurred during nearshore and mid-shelf baleen whale surveys off the
coast of Virginia Beach, VA in the VACAPES OPAREA beginning in November
2020. This project is ongoing and data will be updated annually. Work is
being performed by HDR under contract to Naval Facilities Engineering
Systems Command as part of the U.S. Navy’s Marine Species Monitoring
Program sponsored by U.S. Fleet Forces Command.



Supplemental information

2023-11-07: Sightings in Nov 2022 ~ Mar 2023 were appended.

Sightings and effort data were entered and organized in this geodatabase
by HDR. Source data was provided by HDR under the MSM IDIQ contract.
Sighting locations represent actual animal locations. Sightings and effort
data for this project were collected using a prototype collection
application. Because this application used a different database structure,
there are no environmentals associated with the effort tracks.

Survey tracklines (aggregated over time) are available online and included
in a downloadable zip file (shapefile format).




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
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
observationtypedefinition not provided
behavioreventBehavior event
countcalvesThe number of calves in the sighting
countjuvenilesNumber of juveniles
counttotbestThe best estimate of the number of animals in the sighting
counttotmaxThe highest estimate of the number of animals in the sighting
counttotminThe lowest estimate of the number of animals in the sighting
cueSighing cue
depthsoundingDepth as determined in situ via sounding in meters
distsightThe radial distance to the animal
headingplatmagneticHeading magnetic (deg)
headingplattrueHeading true (deg)
latanimalLatitude of animals in decimal degrees
latplatformThe latitude of the platform in decimal degrees
longanimalLongitude of animals in decimal degrees
longplatformLongitude of the platform in decimal degrees
sightingnotesNotes field to capture information not covered by existing attributes or other information of interest
opticstypeMethod of distance calculation (big eye, clinometer, estimate, 7x50 handheld, laser rangefinder, theodolite)
datetime_utcDate and time of the sighting at UTC
globaliddefinition not provided
spcsnmsciScientific name
spcsnmcomCommon name of the sighted species. Output should be singular (e.g. bottlenose dolphin)
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
distsighttypeType of distance estimation (estimated, range-finder, reticle calculation, declination calculation)
datetimeDate and time of the sighting at local time zone
sightingnumberThe sighting number for the particular survey day
objectid_orgdefinition not provided
bearingBearing (relative to bow)
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals212
Sea turtles3
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2020-11-19
Date, End2023-03-05
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude36.35 - 41.32
Longitude-76.10 - -69.56
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. throughNavy
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with GBIF (via DOI)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics