Sampling event

Pelorus Sound / Te Hoiere (HS66) Hydrographic Survey Marine Mammal Observations

Latest version published by The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) on 21 December 2021 The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 61 records in English (12 KB) - Update frequency: not planned
Metadata as an EML file download in English (11 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (11 KB)


Discovery Marine Ltd (DML) and iXBlue were contracted in 2019 by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to undertake hydrographic surveying services for the Pelorus Sound / Te Hoiere Hydrographic Survey (HS66).

Marine mammals, in particular dolphins are a regular occurrence in the Marlborough Sounds. The species are important both nationally and internationally. There are eight marine mammal species known to frequent the Sounds (Davidson et al., 2011). Two of these are classified as nationally endangered (Hectors and Bottlenose) and one is considered nationally critical (Killer whale or Orca).

DML and iXBlue were contracted to map the seabed in the Marlborough Sounds (Pelorus Sound / Te Hoiere, Admiralty Bay and Te Aumiti (French Pass)) using multibeam sounders. The frequency of the sound emitted by a multibeam echo sounder is outside the hearing range of marine mammals in the Sounds, however as a precaution, best practice for minimising survey activities in the immediate proximity of marine mammals was used, including logging all sightings while on multibeam effort.

Mulitbeam operators and surveyors logged marine mammal sightings. Blue Planet Marine (BPM) was contracted prior to the Queen Charlotte Sound / Tōtaranui and Tory Channel / Kura Te Au Hydrographic Survey (HS51) in 2016/7 to provide a review of the potential efforts of a multibeam survey and make suggestions as to best practice to minimise disturbance. Overall they concluded the survey was in the category of ‘minimal disturbance’ hence not requiring a dedicated MMO onboard (Blue Planet Marine, 2016). This report also gave some recommendations, including survey teams to log sightings, that NIWA adopted in the survey plan used by DML and iXBlue.

Data Records

The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 61 records.

2 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Event (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Davey N, Mackay K (2021): Pelorus Sound / Te Hoiere (HS66) Hydrographic Survey Marine Mammal Observations. v1.3. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Dataset/Samplingevent.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: c023c854-3bc9-43af-af49-c2290b809710.  The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF New Zealand.


Samplingevent; Samplingevent


Niki Davey
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Marine Mammal Observer
P.O. Box 893
Kevin Mackay
  • Originator
  • User
Principal Technician
Private Bag 14-901
6022 Wellington

Geographic Coverage

Pelorus Sound / Te Hoiere, Admiralty Bay and French Pass. Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Bounding Coordinates South West [-41.089, 173.764], North East [-40.908, 174.076]

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2019-11-01 / 2020-07-25

Sampling Methods

Marine Mammal Observations from a hydrographic multibeam survey

Study Extent Pelorus Sound / Te Hoiere, Admiralty Bay and French Pass. Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Quality Control The crew on board survey vessels underwent a briefing with NIWA’s senior experienced trained Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) Niki Davey. MMO sightings were matched against photography and WORMS for validation of species identification. Positions were plotted within a GIS to ensure geographic integrity

Method step description:

  1. The crew on board the survey vessels underwent a briefing with NIWA’s senior experienced trained Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) Niki Davey. Marine mammal observations and subsequent sightings are only required when the multibeam is in operation (on effort). However any opportunistic sightings made at any other time were encouraged to be recorded as well. During this meeting the crew were briefed in the following areas to ensure a rigorous as possible approach to recording marine mammal sightings is being taken: * Identification: An identification booklet outlining the features of the 8 important marine mammal species known in the Marlborough Sounds was provided to each vessel. This includes notes on fin shape, beak presence/absence, colouration and an indication of adult size. The species we can expect the crew to encounter are Bottlenose, Dusky, Hectors, common dolphins, and Killer (Orca), humpback, southern right whales. Also to be recorded was the New Zealand fur seal. * Logsheets: These were provided for the crew and covered the general areas of animal number and species, environment at sea, location and animal details. The priority fields included GPS location (of vessel when sighting made), species to best of ability, number of animals and whether a photo was taken. Each log sheet field was discussed during the briefing. * Photography: A camera was provided for the crew on the survey vessels. Images of the animals were encouraged when it was possible. Emphasis was made on beaks and fins. * Environmental: Laminated sheets covering the Beaufort scale was provided for additional information in the environmental section. * Observations: The crew were also briefed on the difficulties in spotting marine mammals up against a coastal back drop such as the Sounds and recommendations were to look using both the naked eye and with binoculars. Also vigilance was emphasised when the vessels enter bays and come around headlands. Also known areas of resident populations have been noted with extra vigilance encouraged here also. * Reporting: The logsheets were scanned and sent to the MMO on a weekly basis.

Additional Metadata

marine, harvested by iOBIS

Alternative Identifiers c023c854-3bc9-43af-af49-c2290b809710