| Summer abundance estimates of cetaceans in US North Atlantic Navy Operating Areas - :5258 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Summer abundance estimates of cetaceans in US North Atlantic Navy Operating Areas
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    The US Fleet Forces Command, Department of the Navy, contracted the consulting firm Geo-Marine, Inc. (GMI) to generate technical reports that provide marine mammal and sea turtle density estimates for Navy operating areas. Some of the needed density estimates are for areas off the northeast US coast, an area that has been surveyed by marine mammal abundance surveys conducted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. GMI requested my aid in preparing summer density estimates for the northeast operating areas (NE OPAREA) using data collected from 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2004. The Gulf of Maine Central and Offshore NE OPAREAs had the highest numbers of cetaceans, although the NE OPAREAs with the highest densities (abundance divided by area) were the Gulf of Maine North and Scotian NE OPAREAs (both in Canadian waters). Within US waters, the stratum with the highest density was the Gulf of Maine Central, followed by the Shelf Central, Shelf West, and Georges Bank Central strata. The strata with the lowest densities and lowest species diversity were the Mid-Atlantic and Georges Bank West strata. The 2004 estimates appear to be more representative of a springtime distribution or the transition between spring and summer distributions, while the 2002 and earlier estimates appear to be more representative of mid summer distributions.

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