ACOUSTIC AND VISUAL DETECTIONS OF SUB-ARCTIC CETACEANS IN THE SOUTHERN CHUKCHI SEA-BERING STRAIT REGION, 2009-2012
The southern Chukchi Sea-Bering Strait is one of the most productive areas in the world’s ocean, and is located directly in the path of trans-polar shipping, vessel transits related to arctic offshore oil and gas development, recreational cruise ships, and other anthropogenic activity that is anticipated to increase with decreasing seasonal sea ice cover. The occurrence of sub-Arctic cetaceans in this region, including humpback, fin, minke and killer whales, has come primarily from ship logs of Soviet whalers in the mid-late 20th century, with data east of the International Dateline (U.S. waters) particularly scarce. Acoustic detections from a long term array and available visual sighting records of subarctic cetaceans in the southern Chukchi Sea and Bering Strait region during summer and early autumn, 2009-2012, were collected to examine the presence of sub-Arctic species. Humpback whales were common on both sides of the International Dateline, and documented singing into late autumn. Fin and minke whale sightings were widely distributed in U.S. waters from July to September, with acoustic detections of the former into early November. Visual sightings of killer whales were widely dispersed and acoustic detections occurred annually. Questions pertaining to stock identity, spatial and temporal distribution, habitat preference, relative abundance, and potential impacts of climate change on these species will require focused research in this region of the Arctic.
Stafford, K. M., University of Washington, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clarke, J. T., Leidos, USA, email@example.com
Moore, S. E., NOAA Science and Technology, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: 316 A
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