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Outline of the research plan for Japan???s dedicated cetacean sighting surveys in the western North Pacific Ocean in summer 2020
Takashi Hakamada, Megumi Takahashi, Koji Matsuoka and Tomio Miyashita
International Whaling Commission
This document outlines the plan for a systematic vessel-based sighting survey in the North Pacific in 2020. The main objective of this survey is to estimate the abundance of large whale species in the western North Pacific Ocean for appropriate management and conservation of stocks. The survey will be conducted using the research vessels Yushin-maru No. 1 (YS1), Yushin-maru No. 3 (YS3) and Kaiyo-maru No. 7 (KY7) in August-September 2020, and will cover the area comprised between 35??-48??N, 140??-170??E including the coast of Japan. For more precise abundance estimation of whales, distance and angle estimation experiments will be conducted. Furthermore, biopsy skin samples of large whale species will be collected on an opportunistic basis. Photo-identification experiments on blue, North Pacific right and humpback whales, and satellite tag experiment for fin and sei whales will be also conducted.