DUML vessel-based photo-id and biopsy surveys for proposed JAX USWTR site 2012-2015

Duke University Marine Laboratory

Dataset credit

Duke University Marine Laboratory


Primary contact Zach Swaim Duke University
Data entry Connie Kot



The United States (US) Navy proposed constructing an Undersea Warfare Training Range (USWTR) along the US Atlantic coast. In 2008, the US Navy chose the area off of Jacksonville, FL (JAX OPAREA) to be the preferred site of the USWTR. The JAX USWTR site and, like that in Onslow Bay, is 25 nm (46 km) long and 20 nm (37 km) wide (approximately 1700 km2). The survey area straddles the continental shelf and Blake Plateau and includes neritic, shelf waters and pelagic, offshore waters. As part of the Navy's Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Monitoring Program, shipboard and aerial line transect surveys were implemented in 2009 to estimate density and document distribution and seasonal residency of marine mammals and sea turtles in the proposed USWTR (see "DUML vessel-based surveys for proposed JAX USWTR site 2009-2010" dataset). In January 2012, shipboard line-transect survey methods transitioned to biopsy and photo-identification sampling to address questions of residency and population structure in the area. Vessel survey effort was expended along the 200 m depth contour and occasionally around eddies and fronts generated by the Gulf Stream. We are focusing on residency and population structure with our shipboard surveys because we are:
(1) obtaining adequate data with which to estimate density from aerial line transect sampling;
(2) interested in addressing questions of residency in this area.
Sightings within this dataset are from shipboard photo-ID and biopsy surveys conducted from 2012-2015.


The primary objectives of these surveys are to:
(1) document species occurrence and examine patterns of residency of marine mammals and turtles in the defined study area
(2) determine relatedness among individuals, populations and species within the study area
(3) supplement the visual surveys with acoustic monitoring using a High-frequency Acoustic Recording Package (HARP).

Supplemental information

[2016-04-14] Sightings from Jul to Dec 2015 were appended. The following columns were added (these columns are blank for the sightings before Jul 2015):
end_time, end_lat, end_long, behav_state, totminest, totmaxest, mincalves, maxcalves, minyoy, maxyoy, totposid, totnoid, totfinbest, calfposid, calfnoid, calfinbest, yoyposid, comments, photo_notes, sighting_notes, observations, photo_grades, acoustics
of which totposid, totnoid, totfinbest, calfposid, calfnoid, calfinbest, yoyposid, comments, sighting_notes, observations, photo_grades are blank for the newly added sightings.

[2015-05-13] The 2014-2015 data were appended.
[2014-03-21] The 2013-14 data were appended. The following attributes were added since May 2013:
[2013-03-19] Additional survey data for the JAX USWTR site are available on OBIS-SEAMAP in the "DUML vessel-based surveys for proposed JAX USWTR site 2009-2010" dataset.


Foley, H.J., R.J. McAlarney, Z.T. Swaim, E.W. Cummings, L.W. Hodge, R.C. Holt, P.B. Nilsson, R.E. Hardee, W.A. McLellan, D.A. Pabst and A.J. Read. 2013. Protected Species Monitoring in the Proposed Undersea Warfare Training Range (USWTR) Offshore of Jacksonville, FL. SEAMAMMS. University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL. 22-24 March 2013. Conference Presentation.



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 (created by OBIS-SEAMAP)
obs_dateDate of observation
sightnoSighting No
obs_timeTime of the observation (local time zone)
location2AFTT area location
projectProject name
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
beauscaleBeaufort sea state
bottom_depthBottom depth im meters
watertempWater temperature in degree Celsius
sp_obsSpecies observed
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
obs_countNumber of animals
bestcalvesBest estimate of calves
bestyoyBest estimate of young of year
photosNumber of photos
end_timedefinition not provided
end_latdefinition not provided
end_longdefinition not provided
behav_statedefinition not provided
totminestdefinition not provided
totmaxestdefinition not provided
mincalvesdefinition not provided
maxcalvesdefinition not provided
minyoydefinition not provided
maxyoydefinition not provided
totposiddefinition not provided
totnoiddefinition not provided
totfinbestdefinition not provided
calfposiddefinition not provided
calfnoiddefinition not provided
calfinbestdefinition not provided
yoyposiddefinition not provided
commentsdefinition not provided
photo_notesdefinition not provided
sighting_notesdefinition not provided
observationsdefinition not provided
photo_gradesdefinition not provided
acousticsdefinition not provided
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals126
Sea turtles121
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2012-01-07
Date, End2015-12-16
Temporal prec.111110
Latitude29.96 - 30.63
Longitude-80.93 - -80.00
Coord. prec.5 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. throughNavy
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics