SNH Research Report 974 - Basking shark and minke whale pilot aerial survey report

This report presents the results of a pilot study to trial the suitability of digital aerial surveys for collecting data on basking sharks and minke whales for the purposes of assessing distribution and abundance in the Sea of the Hebrides MPA proposal.

Three digital video aerial surveys were carried out which showed the method was applicable for collecting data on basking sharks, but only two minke whales were observed. The precision of an abundance estimate for basking sharks was considered very low, in part due to the inability to pool replicate surveys. Some thoughts on how to increase precision are given, which would be necessary in order for this technique to be a valid tool, as well as recommendations for the frequency of any future surveys.

Pages: 68
Published: 2018

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