Absolute probability estimates of lethal vessel strikes to North Atlantic right whales in Roseway Basin, Scotian Shelf
van der Hoop, Julie
Vanderlaan, Angelia S. M.
Taggart, Christopher T.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordAbsolute probability estimates; Endangered whales; Eubalaena glacialis; Marine area closure; Mortality reduction; North Atlantic right whale; Roseway Basin, Scotian Shelf; Vessel routing; Vessel strike
Vessel strikes are the primary source of known mortality for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). Multi-institutional efforts to reduce mortality associated with vessel strikes include vessel-routing amendments such as the International Maritime Organization voluntary “area to be avoided” (ATBA) in the Roseway Basin right whale feeding habitat on the southwestern Scotian Shelf. Though relative probabilities of lethal vessel strikes have been estimated and published, absolute probabilities remain unknown. We used a modeling approach to determine the regional effect of the ATBA, by estimating reductions in the expected number of lethal vessel strikes. This analysis differs from others in that it explicitly includes a spatiotemporal analysis of real-time transits of vessels through a population of simulated, swimming right whales. Combining automatic identification system (AIS) vessel navigation data and an observationally based whale movement model allowed us to determine the spatial and temporal intersection of vessels and whales, from which various probability estimates of lethal vessel strikes are derived. We estimate one lethal vessel strike every 0.775–2.07 years prior to ATBA implementation, consistent with and more constrained than previous estimates of every 2–16 years. Following implementation, a lethal vessel strike is expected every 41 years. When whale abundance is held constant across years, we estimate that voluntary vessel compliance with the ATBA results in an 82% reduction in the per capita rate of lethal strikes; very similar to a previously published estimate of 82% reduction in the relative risk of a lethal vessel strike. The models we developed can inform decision-making and policy design, based on their ability to provide absolute, population-corrected, time-varying estimates of lethal vessel strikes, and they are easily transported to other regions and situations.
Author Posting. © Ecological Society of America, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of Ecological Society of America for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Ecological Applications 22 (2012): 2021–2033, doi:10.1890/11-1841.1.
Suggested CitationEcological Applications 22 (2012): 2021–2033
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
van der Hoop, Julie; Vanderlaan, Angelia S. M.; Cole, Timothy V. N.; Henry, Allison G.; Hall, Lanni; Mase-Guthrie, Blair; Wimmer, Tonya; Moore, Michael J. (John WIley & Sons, 2014-05-01)To determine effectiveness of Seasonal Management Areas (SMAs), introduced in 2008 on the U.S. East Coast to reduce lethal vessel strikes to North Atlantic right whales, we analyzed observed large whale mortality events ...
Biomechanics of North Atlantic right whale bone : mandibular fracture as a fatal endpoint for blunt vessel-whale collision modeling Campbell-Malone, Regina (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2007-09)The North Atlantic right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, one of the most critically endangered whales in the world, is subject to high anthropogenic mortality. Vessel-whale collisions and entanglement in fishing gear were ...
Parks, Susan E. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2003-09)The focus of this thesis is the use of sound for communication by the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). The surface active group (SAG) is the predominant social interaction in this species for which use ...