DUML vessel-based photo-id and biopsy surveys in VACAPES OPAREA off Hatteras 2009, 2011-2015

Duke University Marine Laboratory

Dataset credit

Duke University Marine Laboratory


Primary contact Zach Swaim Duke University
Data entry Connie Kot



The site off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina is subsumed within the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Monitoring Program. The survey area encompasses approximately 16,000 km² and includes continental shelf waters and deeper waters beyond the shelf break. The area also includes a large portion of the Cape Hatteras Special Research Area (CHSRA), designated by NOAA Fisheries to address interactions between short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and the pelagic longline fisheries. A monitoring program (shipboard and aerial surveys) was implemented in 2011 to estimate density and document distribution and seasonal residency of marine mammals and sea turtles in the CHSRA.


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)
(4) collect baseline data on the diving behavior of deep diving cetaceans e.g. short-finned pilot whales and beaked whales

Supplemental information

[2016-04-14] Sightings in 2015 were appended. The following columns were added (these columns are blank for the sightings before 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 2015 sightings.

[2015-05-13] The 2013-2014 data were appended.
[2014-03-21] The 2013 data were appended.




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 number
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 (degrees Celsius)
sp_obsSpecies observed
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
obs_countNumber of animals
bestcalvesBest estimate of the number of calves
bestyoyBest estimate of the number 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 mammals540
Sea turtles8
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2009-07-20
Date, End2015-12-09
Temporal prec.111110
Latitude35.06 - 37.17
Longitude-75.53 - -74.47
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