Results of the third biological field survey of NEWREP-A during the 2017/18 austral summer season
Takeharu Bando, Kazuyoshi Nakai, Jun Kanbayashi, Kengo Umeda, Yujin Kin, Futaba Nishimura, Takashi Yoshida, Masaomi Tsunekawa, Isamu Yoshimura, Hiroya Mure, Takashi Kominami, Hiroshi Eguchi, Toshihiro Mogoe, Tsutomu Tamura
International Whaling Commission
This paper reports the results of the biological sampling of Antarctic minke whales during the third New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean (NEWREP-A) conducted in Area VI (170°W-120°W, south of 60°S) during the 2017/18 austral summer season. The paper also reports the results of the sighting surveys and non-lethal experiments. Two sighting and sampling vessels (SSVs) and one research base vessel engaged in the survey for 83 days. A total of 392 sightings (involving 925 individuals) of Antarctic minke whale were made during 4,164 n.miles of searching distance. A total of 333 Antarctic minke whales (152 males and 181 females) were sampled, and a number of biological samples and data required for the two main objectives of NEWREP-A were obtained from each whale taken. In Area VI-East, the survey was conducted early in the season (December to January) for the first time since the start of JARPA survey in 1987/88. A total of 44 Antarctic minke whale (26 males and 18 females) were sampled in Area VI-East. The obtained samples will contribute to elucidation of the stock structure of Antarctic minke whales, especially to elucidation of the eastern boundary of P-stock. A total of two blue, four humpback and one killer whales were photo-identified and one biopsy sample was collected from a blue whale in the research area. The samples and data collected in this survey are available for interested national and international scientists under the guidelines for research collaboration posted at the home page of the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR): http://www.icrwhale.org/NEWREP-AProtocol.html.