Research plan for Japan?s dedicated cetacean sighting surveys in the North Pacific Ocean in summer 2021
TAKASHI HAKAMADA, KOJI MATSUOKA, TAIKI KATSUMATA, MEGUMI TAKAHASHI AND TOMIO MIYASHITA
This document outlines the plan for a systematic vessel-based sighting survey in the North Pacific in 2021. The main objective of this survey is to estimate the abundance of large whale species in the North Pacific Ocean for appropriate management and conservation of stocks. The survey will be conducted using the research vessels Yushin-maru No. 1 (YS1) and Kaiyo-maru No. 7 (KY7) in August-September 2021, and will cover the area comprised between 30?-53?N, 150?E-155?W. 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.