BOEM Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS) S-Tag cetacean sightings 2005

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Dataset credit

Texas A&M University
Oregon State University
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Texas A&M University-Galveston
University of Colorado
University of Durham
University of Saint Andrews
University of South Florida
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Primary contact Deborah Epperson Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS) was a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary research project supported by the then Minerals Management Service (MMS; now Bureau of Ocean Energy Management - BOEM) under Cooperative Agreement 1435-01-02-CA-85186 for Cooperative Research on Sperm Whales and their Response to Seismic Exploration in the Gulf of Mexico through the Texas A&M Research Foundation.

The objectives of SWSS were to

(1) establish baseline information on the biology and behavior of sperm whales in the northern Gulf of Mexico,
(2) characterize sperm whale habitat use in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and
(3) determine possible changes in behavior of sperm whales when subjected to manmade noise, particularly from seismic airgun arrays used for offshore oil and gas exploration and geological monitoring.



Supplemental information

This dataset includes sperm whale visual tracking data and sightings of other cetaceans in 2005. Since the vessels often tracked the sighted sperm whales for further surveys, many sightings in this dataset represent the same animals.

Cetacean sightings in 2002-2004 are found in BOEM Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS) S-Tag cetacean sightings 2002-2004

Sperm whale visual trackings in 2002-2004 are found in BOEM Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS) S-Tag sperm whale trackings 2002-2004

Effort data were filtered to eliminate early morning and night times where no visual efforts were conducted. The of-effort times was
2005: 07:00 – 20:00 CDT




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)
utcDate and time in UTC
obs_dateDate of the sighting (local time zone)
obs_timeTime of the sighting (local time zone)
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
vessel_headingVessel heading
vessel_spdkmphVessel speed in mph
sighting_idSighting ID
observerInitial of the observer
obs_locationLocation of the observer
visual_aidVisual aid (always Big Eyes)
eye_heightEye height
conv_factorConversion factor
speciesSpecies code
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
min_grpsizeMinimum of number of animals
obs_countbest estimate of number of animals
max_grpsizeMaximum of number of animals
travel_dirTravel direction
bearingBearing (°)
true_bearingTrue bearing
lat_animalLatitude of animals
lon_animalLongitude of animals
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals708
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2005-06-05
Date, End2005-06-29
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude26.14 - 27.56
Longitude-96.12 - -93.05
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 909)
Traveled (km)2,502
Effort hours219
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
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See metadata in FGDC XML
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