PIFSC, Cetacean Survey, MHI 2009, Cruise 0901, NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center

NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC)

Dataset credit

NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center


Primary contact Marie C. Hill NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center conducted cetacean line-transect abundance surveys in the Hawaiian inner exclusive economic zone surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands (4-27 Feb 2009). The grid of tracklines was established prior to the cruise and was intended to replicate the “Main Islands” stratum of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center 2002 Hawaiian Islands Cetacean Ecosystem Assessment Survey. Eighteen days of on-effort survey were completed during the cruise, resulting in 115 sightings of cetaceans including 12 identified species and a number of unidentified cetaceans.



Supplemental information

[2023-09-06] Some of the sightings got their group sizes estimated incorrectly. These are fixed.

Data were collected under NMFS permit 774-1714.
The data included here are the sightings and on-effort tracks recorded within WinCruz survey software and extracted from the QA/QC'd DAS file using the R package swfscDAS (https://smwoodman.github.io/swfscDAS).

The WinCruz file ends on 24 February. The ship experienced mechanical issues and had to return to port operating on only a single generator. There were two off-effort sightings (one on 25 Feb. & another on 26 Feb.) that were initially made by the ship's personnel. Data were collected on the sightings but no track or effort data exist in the WinCruz record.

Attributes for fields within the trackline files:
Cruise - see description in attribute table below
segnum - segment number for continuous on-effort line
Date - Local date m/dd/yyyy
TimeStart - Local time at start of on-effort segment
LatStart - Latitude in decimal degrees at starting point of on-effort segment
LongStart - Longitude in decimal degrees at starting point of on-effort segment
TimeEnd - Local time at end of on-effort segment
LatEnd - Latitude in decimal degrees at end point of on-effort segment
LongEnd - Longitude in decimal degrees at end point of on-effort segment
Mode - see description in attribute table below
EffType - see description in attribute table below
avgSpdKt - average speed (knots) of the ship over the on-effort segment traveled
avgBft - average Beaufort Sea State over the on-effort segment

Other data not included here:
Photos and biopsy samples were collected during some sightings. Acoustic detections were recorded from a towed hydrophone array. Sonobuoys were deployed opportunistically. A High-frequency Acoustic Recording Package (HARP) was recovered and redeployed off the Kona Coast of Hawaii Island. Oceanographic data were collected (CTD, XBT).


Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. 2009. Cruise report, NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette, Cruise SE-09-01, 4-27 Feb 2009, Main Hawaiian Islands. PIFSC Cruise Report CR-09-008.



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)
lineLine No.
sightnoSighting No. (continuous numbers incrementing from 1)
datetimeDate and time of the sighting at local time zone
latShip Latitude in decimal degrees
lonShip Longitude in decimal degrees
cruiseCruise No.
modeC = closing (observer team went off-effort when a cetacean group was sighted to focus on species identification, group-size estimation, or other data collection); P = passing (search effort was continuous even after a sighting was made; rare - generally occurring only when the ship was required to be somewhere at a specific time)
efftypeEffort Type: S = standard/systematic (search effort while following predetermined parallel transects); N = Non-standard/non-systematic (search effort during transit between transect lines, to & from port, or circumnavigating islands)
oneffortEffort status assigned in the field: TRUE = on-effort (the 3-person observer team was on the flying bridge actively searching for cetaceans); FALSE = off-effort (the observer team had suspended active searching; e.g., during another sighting or inclement weather). Depending on analysis assumptions, some on-effort sightings could be considered off-effort (e.g., made by a non-primary observer or past a specified truncation distance). For more information on additional data attributes or considerations, please contact the data provider.
nspNumber of cetacean species present during an encounter (sighting)
spcodeNumeric species code by provider
scinameScientific name
commonnameCommon name
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
gsspbestBest estimate of species group size (the arithmetic mean of all observers)
gssphighHigh estimate of species group size (the arithmetic mean of all observers)
gssplowLow estimate of species group size (the arithmetic mean of all observers)
perpdistkmPerpendicular distance (km) of the sighted group from the trackline
bftBeaufort sea state
swellhghtSwell height (height of predominant swell in feet)
visVisibility (distance in nautical miles at which a dolphin could be seen surfacing with the water (not sky) as background)
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals116
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2009-02-06
Date, End2009-02-24
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude18.96 - 22.68
Longitude-160.50 - -154.03
Coord. prec.5 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 2225)
Traveled (km)2,273
Effort hours136
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