Outline of the research plan for the 2021/2022 JASS-A survey in the Antarctic Area VI East
KOJI MATSUOKA, TAKASHI HAKAMADA, TATSUYA ISODA, TAIKI KATSUMATA, MEGUMI TAKAHASHI AND LUIS A. PASTENE
This paper outlines the objectives and survey procedures of the 2021/2022 sighting survey under the Japanese Abundance and Stock structure Surveys in the Antarctic (JASS-A program) conducted by the Government of Japan. This program started since 2019/2020 austral summer season. The main research objectives of JASS-A are i) the study of the abundance and abundance trends of large whale species, and ii) the study of the distribution, movement and stock structure of large whale species. JASS-A also has several secondary research objectives related to oceanographic, marine debris and whale biology. The research program is based on systematic sighting surveys utilizing the Line Transect Method, to be conducted alternatively in IWC Areas III, IV, V and VI by one specialized vessel, during a tentative period of eight austral summer seasons. The objective of this paper is to outline the objectives, survey procedures and schedule of the 2021/2022 JASS-A survey in Area VIE (135?W-120?W) of the Indo-Pacific region of the Antarctic.