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.
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.
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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. https://nzobisipt.niwa.co.nz/resource?r=hs66_mmo&v=1.3
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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]|
|Start Date / End Date||2019-11-01 / 2020-07-25|
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:
- 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.
marine, harvested by iOBIS