[MARMAM] New publication: Whale-vessel collisions in Hawaii

PWF Research Department research at pacificwhale.org
Sat Feb 3 21:29:34 PST 2018

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of a new
article in the Journal of Cetacean Research and Management:

Currie, J.J., Stack, S.H., Kaufman, G.D. Modelling whale-vessel encounters:
the role of speed in mitigating collisions with humpback whales (*Megaptera
novaeangliae*) 17 (2017): 57–63.

Increasing whale populations and vessel traffic worldwide has led to an
increase in reported whale-vessel collisions. This paper reports on factors
that affect the rate of whale-vessel collisions in the four-island region
of Maui, Hawai’i. More specifically, it aims at quantifying the probability
of a whale-vessel collision with varying vessel speeds using encounter
distances as a proxy. A change point model was used to identify a speed
threshold of 12.5kts (6.4m/s), which showed a significant change in the
relationship between speed and mean sighting distance. A 3.4-fold decrease
in close encounters with humpback whales was observed when vessels traveled
at speeds of 12.5kts (6.4m/s) or less. Furthermore, results indicate that
lone adult whales and calves are the most likely to be involved in a
collision. A speed limit of 12.5kts (6.4m/s) is warranted in areas and/or
during seasons where a high density of whales occurs. This limit aligns
with a reduction in lethal vessel strikes with speed from previous studies
which found a significant increase in the likelihood of mortality when
vessel speed exceeds 12kts.

The full article is available online at https://archive.iwc.int/?r=6607

or email us to request a PDF copy: research at pacificwhale.org

*Research Department*

Pacific Whale Foundation

300 Ma'alaea Rd., Suite 211

Wailuku, HI 96793, USA

Phone: +1 808-856-8338

Email: research at pacificwhale.org

Website: www.pacificwhale.org



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