[MARMAM] New publication: Effects of whale watching vessels on sperm whales

A. Mel Cosentino orcinus.orca.1758 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 5 06:43:23 PDT 2016

Dear Marmamers

I am excited to announce the publication of my new paper in Tourism in
Marine Environments.

Cosentino AM. (2016) Effects of whale watching vessels on adult male sperm
whales off Andenes, Norway. Tourism in Marine Environments 11(4) 215-227.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427316X14580612748560

This study investigated the effects of whale-watching vessels (WWV) on
solitary sperm whales off Andenes in northern Norway. The presence of WWV
did not have a significant effect on the duration of the surface and
foraging dive periods or on the respiration pattern and dynamics. However,
the presence of WWV made sperm whales almost seven times more likely to
perform a near-surface event (NSE). NSEs are submersions without fluking
for short periods of time that take place during the surface phase. The
occurrence of NSEs led to a significant increase of 75% in surface time,
which is 6 min more at the surface that were not compensated with longer
foraging dives. Additionally, the occurrence of NSEs was associated with
changes in the animals' respiration pattern and dynamics. Data collection
concerning NSEs and respiration dynamics (both parameters assessed here for
the first time) is strongly recommended in future impact studies on this
species. NSEs may be indicators of disturbance and are reasonably easy to
identify, and thus identifying and better understanding the causes of this
behavior have management implications.

The paper is accesible here:


​Kind regards


*A. Mel Cosentino*

*"*The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing*" - *E. Burke

GNU Terry Pratchett
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