Cuvier's Beaked Whale and Fin Whale Surveys at the Southern California Offshore Anti-submarine Warfare Range (SOAR)

Marine Ecology and Telemetry Research

Dataset credit

Marine Ecology and Telemetry Research


Primary contact Brenda Rone Marine Ecology and Telemetry Research
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The United States (US) Navy uses the Southern California (SOCAL) portion of
the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing area, a collection of
nearshore and offshore training areas that include much of the navigable
water from Santa Barbara Island, California, to northern Baja California,
Mexico, and extending several hundred miles to the west. It is among one of
the most heavily used tactical training areas in the world, and is used for a
variety of aerial, surface, and subsurface exercises. The Southern California
Offshore Range (SCORE) is a subset of complexes within SOCAL centered on
San Clemente Island and managed via the Range Operation Center (ROC) on
North Island, Coronado. It includes the Southern California Anti-submarine
Warfare Range (SOAR), a focal area for exercises involving mid-frequency
active sonar (MFAS) systems within the San Nicolas Basin.

Through its N45 Living Marine Resources (LMR) research programs, and more
recently in support of Pacific Fleet Monitoring efforts, the US Navy has funded
directed studies on cetacean occurrence on SOAR since 2006. The primary
focus of these studies is to support long-term surveys of Cuvier’s beaked
whales and fin whales using photo-identification (photo-ID) and genetics to
elucidate population size, structure, and trends, which can in turn provide a
particularly robust basis for assessing population-level impacts of Navy
training. Data is collected on all species encountered in this region as part of
the monitoring program.


Data from this project is collected to better understand the movement and
habitat use of cetaceans within and around the Southern California Bight (SCB).
The SCB is home to a diverse group of cetacean species, and is an area of
significant human impacts, including commercial shipping, Navy training, and
recreational boating.

Supplemental information

These surveys were funded by Fleet for Southern California.




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)
research_groupdefinition not provided
project_objectivedefinition not provided
speciesScientific name
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
sighting_numberdefinition not provided
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
dateDate of the sighting
timeTime of the sighting at local time zone
group_sizeGroup size
num_calvesNumber of calves
group_spread_widthdefinition not provided
group_spread_lengthdefinition not provided
primary_behaviorPrimary behavior
secondary_behaviorSecondary behavior
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals318
Sea turtles1
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2019-10-05
Date, End2022-11-26
Temporal prec.111110
Latitude32.67 - 33.71
Longitude-119.66 - -117.44
Coord. prec.4 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 2217)
Traveled (km)162,441
Effort hours31
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
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