Results of the NEWREP-A dedicated sighting survey during the 2018/19 austral summer season
Toshihiro Mogoe, Isamu Yoshimura, Taiki Katsumata, Chikamasa Ohkoshi, Tekeharu Bando and Koji Matsuoka
This paper reports the results of the dedicated whale sighting survey in the Antarctic Areas III-E (035Ã‚Â°EÃ¢â‚¬â€œ070Ã‚Â°E, south of 60Ã‚Â°S) under the NEWREP-A in the 2018/19 austral summer season. The dedicated sighting vessel (SV) conducted the survey under two survey modes, Normal Passing mode (NSP) and Independent Observer mode (IO) from 13 December 2018 to 19 February 2019. The total searching distance in the research area was 2,960.6 n.miles (5,483.0km), including 1,374.3 n.miles covered in NSP and 1,586.3 n.miles in IO mode. The survey coverage was 77% in the northern stratum and 95% in the southern stratum. A total of four baleen whale species, blue (15 schools/25 individuals), fin (216/499), Antarctic minke (140/250) and humpback (591/950) whales, and at least three toothed whale species including, sperm (77/77), southern bottlenose (4/8) and killer (11/151) whales were sighted by primary sightings in the research area. Estimated Angle and Distance experiments were conducted in the research area. Routine photo-ID and biopsy sampling on large whales were also conducted. A total of 52 photos were obtained from 24 blue, 22 humpback and 6 killer whales. A total of 22 biopsy samples (skin and blubber) was also collected from nine blue, two fin and 11 humpback whales using the Larsen biopsy system. A total of six marine debris was observed. The sighting data were validated and have already been submitted to the IWC Secretariat. Krill and oceanographic surveys were also conducted along the track lines designed for sighting surveys. The results are reported separately.