Overview

This map shows data for a cetacean species and was developed by the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab (MGEL) at Duke University through a partnership with the Marine-life Data and Analysis Team (MDAT). MDAT collaborated with the Northeast Regional Ocean Council and expert work groups to produce maps characterizing the predicted distribution and abundance of cetacean species or species guilds, or bird species; or the surveyed biomass of fish species. MGEL worked with marine mammal biologists and ecologists at the NOAA Northeast and Southeast Fisheries Science Centers, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center to create habitat-based density models for cetaceans occurring off the US East Coast. The results of this work have been published in Roberts et al. (2016), with updates documented in Roberts et al. (2017)  and Roberts et al. (2018).

Data Considerations

Some of the MDAT maps contain information about federally protected species. Additional information about the distribution, abundance, and range of species listed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is available at:

Details about each individual model can be found here, along with some animations and answers to frequently asked questions. Important improvements of the MGEL 2015 density models over the 2007 Navy NODEs models are summarized here. The MDAT Technical Report on the Methods and Development of Marine-life Datasummarizes additional aspects of the models that may be important to users of Northeast Ocean Data.

These maps represent one set of many available sources of information that inform our current understanding of species distribution and abundance in the Northeast region. Other sources of information on marine mammal species that complement the data shown here include:

A more complete listing of additional data sources for marine mammals in the context of ocean planning can be found in the Northeast Ocean Plan, Appendix 2.

Citation

Any use of the cetacean maps and data in this viewer should be accompanied by the following citations:

Roberts J.J., B.D. Best, L. Mannocci, E. Fujioka, P.N. Halpin, D.L. Palka, L.P. Garrison, K.D. Mullin, T.V.N. Cole, C.B. Khan, W.M. McLellan, D.A. Pabst, and G.G. Lockhart. 2016. Habitat-based cetacean density models for the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Scientific Reports 6: 22615. doi: 10.1038/srep22615.

Roberts J.J., L. Mannocci, and P.N. Halpin. 2017. Final Project Report: Marine Species Density Data Gap Assessments and Update for the AFTT Study Area, 2016-2017 (Opt. Year 1). Document version 1.4. Report prepared for Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic by the Duke University Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Durham, NC.

Roberts J.J., Mannocci L., Schick R.S., Halpin P.N. 2018 Final Project Report: Marine Species Density Data Gap Assessments and Update for the AFTT Study Area, 2017-2018 (Opt. Year 2). Document version 1.2. Report prepared for Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic by the Duke University Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Durham, NC.

Curtice C., J. Cleary, E. Shumchenia, and P.N. Halpin. 2019. Marine-life Data and Analysis Team (MDAT) Technical Report on the Methods and Development of Marine-life Data to Support Regional Ocean Planning and Management. Prepared on behalf of the Marine-life Data and Analysis Team (MDAT). Accessed at: https://seamap.env.duke.edu/models/MDAT/MDAT-Technical-Report.pdf.

Marine-life Data Analysis Team (MDAT; Patrick Halpin, Earvin Balderama, Jesse Cleary, Corrie Curtice, Michael Fogarty, Brian Kinlan, Charles Perretti, Jason Roberts, Emily Shumchenia, Arliss Winship). Marine life summary data products for Northeast ocean planning. Version 2.0. Northeast Ocean Data. https://northeastoceandata.org. Accessed MM/DD/YYYY.

 

Acknowledgements

Source: Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab (MGEL) at Duke University. This product was developed by MGEL in collaboration with colleagues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW), the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center (VAMSC), the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society. It was derived from habitat-based density models for cetaceans built from shipboard and aerial line transect surveys conducted at sea between 1992–2016 by the NMFS Northeast and Southeast Fisheries Science Centers, UNCW, VAMSC, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation, and multiple teams surveying for North Atlantic right whales in the southeast U.S., including those led by FWRI, New England Aquarium, and Wildlife Trust / EcoHealth Alliance / Sea to Shore Alliance. The UNCW surveys were funded by U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Command and NOAA. VAMSC surveys in Virginia were funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Department of Environmental Quality through Task 1 of Grant NA12NOS4190027 and Task 95.02 of Grant NA13NOS4190135 from NOAA, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended. The southeast U.S. right whale surveys were funded by NOAA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina State Port Authority, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The density models were initially developed with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Command, and further elaborated with funding from the Northeast Regional Ocean Council. For more information, please contact Jason Roberts (jason.roberts@duke.edu).

Status

These products were revised according to agency and public feedback and were posted on the Northeast Ocean Data Portal in August 2018 and June 2019. These products will be updated as described in the 2016 Northeast Ocean Plan.