[MARMAM] NEW Publication: Mid-summer abundance estimates of fin whales Balaenoptera physalus around the South Orkney Islands and Elephant Island

Sacha Viquerat sacha.vsop at gmail.com
Thu Jun 15 05:02:24 PDT 2017

Dear all!

We are very pleased to announce our most recent open access publication in
Endangered Species Research (

Viquerat, S, Herr, H (2017): Mid-summer abundance estimates of fin
whales *Balaenoptera
physalus* around the South Orkney Islands and Elephant Island. Endangered
Species Research 32:515:524 doi: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00832


A line-transect distance sampling survey for fin whales *Balaenoptera *physalus
was conducted around Elephant Island and the South Orkney Islands on board
a CCAMLR fishing survey for fin fish in January and February 2016.
Collected data were used for model-based abundance estimates of fin whales
in 2 strata. The minimum average (± SE) density of fin whales was estimated
at 0.0268 ± 0.0183 animals km–2 in a 19 750 km2 area around Elephant
Island, resulting in a minimum abundance estimate of 528 ± 362 fin whales.
In a 13 550 km2 area around the South Orkney Islands, we estimated a
minimum density of 0.0588 ± 0.0381 fin whales km–2 and a minimum abundance
of 796 ± 516 animals. The results of this study confirm a westerly
extension of a recently described high-density area for fin whales in the
West Antarctic Peninsula region. In the light of increasing krill fisheries
in the local region, we suggest this area for further studies to assess the
potential for conflict between recovering whale populations and emerging
industrial interests.

Cheers, Sacha & Helena
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