[MARMAM] New publication: Trends in cetacean research in the Eastern North Atlantic

Bárbara Cartagena da Silva Matos barbara.cartagena.matos at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 12:13:06 PST 2021

We are pleased to announce the publication of our paper titled: Trends in
cetacean research in the Eastern North Atlantic.

Cartagena-Matos B, Lugue K, Fonseca P, Marques TA, Prieto R, Alves F
(2021): Trends
in cetacean research in the Eastern North Atlantic. Mammal Review,

Here is the link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mam.12238


1. Cetaceans are considered ecosystem engineers and useful bioindicators of
the health of marine environments. The Eastern North Atlantic is an area of
great geographical and oceanographic complexity that favours ecosystem
richness and, consequently, cetacean occurrence. Although this occurrence
has led to relevant scientific research on this taxon, information on the
composition of this research has not been assessed.
2. We aimed to describe and quantify the evolution of research on cetaceans
in the Eastern North Atlantic, highlighting the main focal areas and trends.
3. We considered 380 peer‐reviewed publications between 1900 and 2018. For
each paper, we collected publication year, research topics and regions, and
species studied. We assessed differences among regions with distinct
socio‐economic landscapes, and between coastal and oceanic habitats. To
evaluate the changes in scientific production over time, we fitted a
General Additive Model to the time series of numbers of papers.
4. Although research in this region has been increasing, the results show
relatively little research output in North African and coastal regions
within the study area. Moreover, except for four studies, research was
restricted to a few miles around the coast of the main islands, leaving
offshore regions less well surveyed. There was little research on genetics,
acoustics, and behaviour. Most papers were focused on the Azores and Canary
Islands, and mostly involved Tursiops truncatus, Delphinus delphis, and
Physeter macrocephalus. Species considered Endangered or Near Threatened
were the subjects of only 10% of the studies.
5. We suggest a greater research focus on beaked whales (Ziphiidae) in
Macaronesia, as well as collaborative efforts between research teams in the
region, by sharing data sets, and aiming to produce long‐term research.
Moreover, a Delphi method approach, based on questionnaires answered by
experts, could be attempted to identify priority research for cetaceans in
these areas.

Best wishes,
*Bárbara Cartagena da Silva Matos*
PhD candidate at Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (
Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Email: barbara.cartagena.matos at gmail.com
Tel.: +351 939432505
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