[MARMAM] New publication: First underwater sighting of Shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi)

Phil Bouchet pjbouchet at gmail.com
Sat Mar 23 09:27:32 PDT 2019

Dear colleagues, 


On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to announce publication of the following paper in Marine Biodiversity Records:


Thompson CDH, Bouchet PJ, Meeuwig JJ. 2019. First underwater sighting of Shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi). Marine Biodiversity Records, 12: 6. DOI: 10.1186/s41200-019-0165-6.


Abstract: Here we describe the first underwater sighting of Shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi). Two individuals were observed together on video footage obtained via mid-water stereo-Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS) deployed off the coast of Inaccessible Island, Tristan da Cunha, in the South Atlantic. This observation constitutes the first recorded live sighting of this species in the waters of Tristan da Cunha since 2002 and provides further evidence for the persistence of a population of this species in the region. The observed individuals lacked the dark flipper stripe observed in previous descriptions, indicating that the species may exhibit greater variation in pigmentation than previous records indicate. The planned implementation of a marine reserve in the region along with the current low level of fishing pressure and remote location of this archipelago provide a good context to ensure the appropriate management and protection of this rare species. The recent establishment of an ongoing mid-water stereo-BRUVS monitoring programme, in concert with other methods targeted at marine mammals, may yield further information about this little known species and aid in informing management decisions in the future.

The paper is freely available online at https://mbr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41200-019-0165-6

Kind regards

Dr. Phil Bouchet

Research Associate
School of Mathematics and Statistics

Centre for Research into Ecological & Environmental Modelling (CREEM)


The Observatory, Buchanan Gardens
University of St Andrews, St Andrews Fife
KY16 9LZ, Scotland (UK)


pjbouchet at gmail.com | pb282 at st-andrews.ac.uk

Twitter @pjbouchet  •  Web pjbouchet.github.io • ResearcherID K-5365-2012



The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland, No: SC013532



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