Cetaceans in the Southern Indian Ocean 2004

Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute

Dataset credit

Dr. Pallipuram Jayasankar, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute


Primary contact Pallipuram Jayasankar Fish Genetics and Biotechnology Division, Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



A multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional pilot expedition was organized by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) to the ice-free areas of the Western Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean onboard ORV Sagar Kanya during the austral summer of 2004 (January-March). This survey, conducted by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), is the first Indian attempt to survey for cetacean diversity in the Southern Ocean. The ultimate objective is to determine distribution, relative abundance, migration patterns and critical habitat parameters. 68% of a total of 13 sightings (22 individuals) were positively identified and species observed included Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis), fin whales (B. physalus), sei whales (B. borealis) and blue whales (B. musculus). The blue whales were not identified to the sub-species level. The highest concentration of cetaceans was between 35° and 37°S (along 45°E) and between 48° and 53°S (along 45°E). Relatively small numbers of cetaceans were observed during the present cruise, possibly because most of the cetacean sighting effort was made during inclement sea conditions. Results on the sighting characteristics and occurrence patterns of the cetaceans in relation to the region and hydrographical parameters are discussed briefly vis a vis published information from the Southern Ocean.


To get a first hand information on the occurrence of cetaceans in the Southern Ocean as a part of first Indian attempt.

Supplemental information

Two sightings on Feb 15, 2004 were sighted together.


Jayasankar, P., A.A. Krishnan, M. Rajagopalan and P.K. Krishnakumar. 2007. A note on observations on cetaceans in the western Indian sector of the Southern Ocean (20-56°S and 45-57°30'E), January to March 2004. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management. 9(3):263-267.
De Boer, M.N. 2000. Observations on occurence and distribution of cetaceans in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary and southern part of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary. Paper SC/52/O9 presented to the IWC Scientific Committee, June 2000, in Adelaide, Australia. 10pp.
Pandey, P.C., N. Khare and M. Sudhaker. 2006. Oceanographic research: Indian efforts and preliminary results from the Southern Ocean. Current Science. 90(7): 978-84.



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
speciesSpecies name
sp_tsnITIS taxonomic serial number
num_sightingsNumber of sightings
obs_countNumber of individuals
latitudeLatitude (decimal degree)
longitudeLongitude (decimal degree)
depthDepth (m)
sstSST (degree Celcius)
notesAdded by OBIS-SEAMAP
oidUnique ID number (generated by SEAMAP)
Marine mammals13
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2004-01-24
Date, End2004-02-29
Temporal prec.111000
Latitude-53.48 - -22.51
Longitude44.86 - 57.47
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
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