Report of the Norwegian 2020 survey for minke whales in the Small Management Area EW-Norwegian Sea
As part of a six-year program over the period 2020-2025 with the aim to get a new estimate of minke whale abundance in the Northeast Atlantic in a timely manner with regard to RMP, the Norwegian Sea comprising the Small Management Area EW, was surveyed with one vessel during the summer 2020. Three blocks were surveyed and received a reasonably good coverage. A total of 3,638 nautical miles of primary search effort was conducted within the surveyed blocks. The most common species sighted were minke whales, fin whales and sperm whales. In addition, sightings were made of white-beaked dolphins, killer whales, humpback whales, harbour porpoises and white-sided dolphins. Compared to the previous survey of this area in 2015, increased presence of most species was seen. Minke whales had a five-fold increase in sighting rate from 2015 to 2020.