OCEAMM harbor porpoise sightings in the North Sea

Observatoire pour la Conservation et l'Etude des Animaux et Milieux Marins (OCEAMM)

Dataset credit

Observatoire pour la Conservation et l'Etude des Animaux et Milieux Marins (OCEAMM)


Primary contact Thibaut Bouveroux Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory
Data entry Connie Kot



Small cetaceans can use a variety of habitats and are generally wide-ranging. For this reason, extensive sighting surveys to assess their distribution, abundance, and habitat preference are needed. In this study, we conducted systematic surveys to document the distribution of the harbor porpoise observed in the English Channel (North Sea, France). The English Channel is an epicontinental sea. It constitutes a relatively narrow link between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea and is influenced by strong tides and freshwater inputs, which create well-mixed waters. The harbor porpoise is placed under Appendix II of the European Union Habitats Directive, and an assessment of his status and distribution in the English Channel, very exposed to human activities, is much needed to identify conservation and management strategies.
Therefore, we conducted surveys following a series of predetermined saw-tooth transect lines to study the distribution of the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).
Boat transect were conducted using a Sealine Stateman 35, equipped with two 230 hp Volvo inboard engine at speed around 10 knots. Surveys were made as many days as possible throughout the season at sea state of Beaufort 3 or less, between March 2009 and September 2011.
For each animal sighting, the species, angle of sighting, the distance from the boat, the group size and composition, the general behavior and the swimming direction were recorded.



Supplemental information





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 SEAMAP)
sp_tsnSpecies ITIS TSN
sp_obsSpecies observed
obs_dateObserved date
obs_timeObserved time
watertempWater temperature (degree Celsius)
latitudeLatitude of observation
longitudeLongitude of observation
obs_countObserved count
Marine mammals146
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2009-03-18
Date, End2011-09-03
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude50.48 - 51.31
Longitude1.27 - 2.50
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
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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