Research plan for Japan?s dedicated cetacean sighting surveys in the North Pacific Ocean in summer 2022
Takashi Hakamada, Megumi Takahashi, Taiki Katsumata and Koji Matsuoka
This document outlines the plan for a systematic vessel-based sighting survey in the North Pacific in 2022. The main objective of this survey is to estimate the abundance of large whale species in the North Pacific Ocean for management and conservation purposes. The survey will be conducted using the research vessels Yushin-Maru (YS1) and Kaiyo-Maru No. 7 (KY7) in August-September 2022, and will cover the area comprised between 35?-44?N, 140?E-153.5?E. For more precise abundance estimation of whales, distance and angle estimation experiments will be conducted. Furthermore, photo-identification experiments on blue, North Pacific right, humpback and killer whales will be collected on an opportunistic basis. Biopsy skin samples of large whale species such as blue, fin, sei, North Pacific right, humpback and killer whales and satellite tagging experiments for fin, sei and common minke whales will be also conducted. Data and samples obtained during these experiments will be used in future studies on distribution, abundance, movement and stock structure of the species involved.