Review of potential line-transect methodologies for estimating abundance of dolphin stocks in the eastern tropical Pacific

Lennert-Cody, Cleridy E; Buckland, Stephen T; Gerrodette, Tim; Webb, Andrew; Barlow, Jay; Fretwell, Peter ORCID:; Maunder, Mark N; Kitakado, Toshihide; Moore, Jeffrey E; Scott, Michael D; Skaug, Hans J. 2018 Review of potential line-transect methodologies for estimating abundance of dolphin stocks in the eastern tropical Pacific. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, 19. 9-21.

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A twelve-year hiatus in fishery-independent marine mammal surveys in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP), combined with a mandate to monitor dolphin stock status under international agreements and the need for reliable stock status information to set dolphin bycatch limits in the tuna purse-seine fishery, has renewed debate about how best to assess and monitor ETP dolphin stock status. The high cost of replicating previous ship-based surveys has intensified this debate. In this review, transect methods for estimating animal abundance from dedicated research surveys are considered, with a focus on both contemporary and potential methods suitable for surveying large areas for dolphin species that can form large, multi-species aggregations. Covered in this review are potential improvements to the previous ship-based survey methodology, other ship-based methods, alternative approaches based on high-resolution imagery and passive acoustics, and combinations of ship-based and alternative approaches. It is concluded that for immediate management needs, ship-based surveys, with some suggested modifications to improve precision, are the only reliable option despite their high cost. However, it is recommended that a top research priority should be development of composite methods. Pilot studies on the use of high-resolution imagery and passive acoustics for development of indices of relative abundance to be used in composite methods should be part of any future ship-based survey efforts.

Item Type: Publication - Article
ISSN: 15610713
Additional Keywords: abundance estimate, index of abundance, trends, survey acoustic, survey aerial
Date made live: 28 Jan 2019 14:20 +0 (UTC)

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