Cruise Report of the New Scientific Whale Research Program in the western North Pacific (NEWREP-NP) in 2017- Pacific coastal component off Hachinohe and Kushiro
Tatsuya Isoda, Genta Yasunaga, Hideyoshi Yoshida, Toshihiro Mogoe, Nobuyuki Ito, Kazutoyo Shimetani, Gen Nakamura, Hikari Maeda, Satoko Inoue, Saeko Kumagai, Mutsuo Goto, Futaba Nishimura, Yujin Kim, Yuko Asano, Minoru Akagi, Ken Nakajo, Ryuji Yamamoto, H
International Whaling Commission
The first survey of the NEWREP-NP Pacific coastal component was conducted in sub-areas 7CS off Sanriku (Hachinohe) and 7CN off Kushiro. The survey in Hachinohe was conducted from 18 July to 20 August 2017, using two small-type whaling catcher boats as sighting/sampling vessels and six small fisheries boats supporting the sighting vessels. The survey in Kushiro was conducted from 1 September to 31 October 2017, using four small-type whaling catcher boats as sighting/sampling vessels. Searching for common minke whales and sampling took place in coastal waters about 50 n. miles from Hachinohe and Kushiro Ports. All common minke whales sampled were landed at the NEWREP-NP research stations established in Hachinohe and Kushiro, where biological examination was conducted. During the survey in Hachinohe, a total of eight primary sightings (eight individuals) of common minke whale were made during 4,297.1 n.miles of searching distance (456.2 hours). Three common minke whales (one immature and two mature males) were sampled. The dominant prey species was the Japanese sardine. During the survey in Kushiro, a total of 45 primary sightings (47 individuals) of common minke whale were made during 7,038.5 n.miles of searching distance (724.0 hours). A total of 35 common minke whales (22 males and 13 females) were sampled. The dominant prey species was the Japanese sardine. Biological samples and data required for Primary Objective I and Ancillary Objectives I and II of NEWREP-NP were obtained from all animals sampled. The target sample size of 80 common minke whales however could not be attained, because both surveys were greatly affected by bad weather and sea conditions, for example thick fog and strong cold wind were frequent in Hachinohe and low atmospheric pressure involving typhoons affected the Kushiro area.