[MARMAM] New publication: Spatio-temporal distribution and habitat use of cetaceans in Algoa Bay, South Africa
Plon, Stephanie (Dr) (Summerstrand Campus South)
Stephanie.Plon at nmmu.ac.za
Wed Jun 28 06:38:16 PDT 2017
We are pleased to announce the following paper recently published in Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK:
Melly, B. L., McGregor, Hofmeyr, G. and Plön, S. (2017).
Spatio-temporal distribution and habitat use of cetaceans in Algoa Bay, South Africa.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the U.K. doi.org/10.1017/S0025315417000340<https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315417000340>.
Increasingly, baseline knowledge of habitat preferences and movement patterns of marine species is required to inform
anthropogenic developments. The aim of this study was to determine baseline spatio-temporal distribution and habitat preference
of cetaceans in the coastal waters of Algoa Bay. Areas of potential conflict with anthropogenic activities were also
assessed. Monthly sea-based surveys were conducted between June 2008 and May 2011. A total of 500 cetacean sightings comprising
six species were recorded in 106 surveys. Tursiops aduncus (Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin), Sousa plumbea (Indian
Ocean humpback dolphin), Delphinus capensis (long-beaked common dolphin) and Balaenoptera brydei (Bryde’s whale)
were observed year-round, while Eubalaena australis (southern right whale) and Megaptera novaeangliae (humpback
whale) were recorded from May to December. A large portion of sightings were associated with a Marine Protected Area
and shipping zones. Eubalaena australis, T. aduncus and S. plumbea were found inshore (water depths , 12 m), while
the other species were associated with deeper waters. Tursiops aduncus were most commonly seen (233 sightings).
Megaptera novaeangliae were sighted often in austral winter, with 113 sightings. Only nine D. capensis sightings were
recorded. Spatial distributions of species were corrected for search effort to identify habitat preferences. A number of key observations
were made, including opportunistic foraging in M. novaeangliae, and the expansion of nursery grounds for E. australis,
to include Algoa Bay. Four preferred habitat areas are proposed, providing important information for conservation and
management of cetaceans in Algoa Bay. The spatial approach can be used to inform future relevant management decisions
The paper can be downloaded at
or contact me for a pdf copy.
Dr. Stephanie Plön
African Earth Observation Network (AEON)- Earth Stewardship Science Research Institute (ESSRI)
Nelson Mandela University
Building 12, Ground Floor, Rm 032
Port Elizabeth, 6031
e-mail: stephanie.plon at nmmu.ac.za<mailto:stephanie.plon at nmmu.ac.za>
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