SEFSC Mid-Atlantic Tursiops Survey, 1995 (1)

NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC)

Dataset credit

Southeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA


Primary contact Lance Garrison NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



Mid Atlantic Tursiops Surveys (MATS) were conducted in 1995 by NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center to examine the distribution and estimate an index of relative abundance for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the nearshore coastal waters in mid-and southern Atlantic bight. This data set contains sightings of not only the target dolphins but also other species including cetaceans, sea turtles, fish and shark observed during the aerial surveys.

The same transects were traced three times on different dates during the survey period. This data set is the first one. The other two are provided, too, with the number following MATS95s indicating the first, second and last.

Cetacean and sea turtles observed include as follows.
<< Cetacean >>
Standard Bottlenose dolphin

<< Sea Turtle >>

Survey's transects information is available in MATS95s1Efforts.


The purpose of this survey was to examine the distribution and estimate an index of relative abundance for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins inhabiting the nearshore coastal waters of the U.S. mid- and southern Atlantic bight.

Supplemental information

Records with no common name are some pollution observed (e.g. plastic).

Records were assigned a sequential number LineNo. LineNo can be used to match observations with corresponding transects, each of which has BegLineNo and EndLineNo fields. Observation records with their LineNo between BegLineNo and EndLineNo in a transect are related to that transect.

A duplicated LineNo indicates more than one species were observed at the same time.

Records include 'off-effort' sightings as well. Card 'F' indicates that the observation was done while off-effort. Card D is used for observation while on effort.

When searching for a specific species, note that some records don't identify animals observed at a species level. If this is the case, the common/scientific name may be genus/family or higher (e.g. Balaenoptera sp.).




The dataset contains information necessary to locate the species sightings observed in the survey. The structure of the dataset was defined by NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Note that the dataset is a subset of the larger, complete dataset collected in the survey which includes environmental information. The columns before LineNo are applied to the shapefile only. The following information is not included in the dataset but will be found in the master data. For details, please contact NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Track; Speed; GPS Status; Observers; Airplane altitude; Weather; Sea state; Turbidity; Sunlight; Glare; Water color; Water temperature; Sighting angle; Effort status.

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
datasetDataset ID
linenoLine number
studyblockStudy block
partdefinition not provided
dateDate of the observation
timeTime of the observation (local time)
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
trackTrack No
gpsstatusGPS status
leftobsLeft observer
rightobsRight observer
datarcdrdefinition not provided
altitudeAltitude in feet
weatherWeather code
seastateSea state
watercolorWater color
watertempWater temperature in degree Celsius
sightobsObserver sighted
sightincdefinition not provided
speciesSpecies name
commonCommon name
tsnITIS Taxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
scientificScientific name
groupTaxonomic group
herdsizeGroup size
nocalvesNumber of calves
effortstatEffort status
transectnoTransect No
excludedFor internal use
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
Marine mammals47
Sea turtles207
Rays and sharks212
Other species319
Non spatial0
Non species84
Date, Begin1995-07-13
Date, End1995-07-23
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude35.25 - 40.50
Longitude-75.96 - -73.31
Coord. prec.4 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 94)
Traveled (km)2,363
Effort hours12
Contr. through
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Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
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