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MiniSCANS-II: Aerial survey for harbour porpoises in the western Baltic Sea, Belt Sea, the Sound and Kattegat in 2020: Joint survey by Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Final report to Danish Environmental Protection Agency, German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management.
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2021 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) (Directive 2008/56/EC) emphasises the need for cross-border monitoring of wide-ranging species, such as the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), the most abundant cetacean species occurring year-round in the Baltic Sea. In June and July 2020, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden conducted a dedicated large-scale aerial survey (called MiniSCANS-II) for harbour porpoises in the management area of the Belt Sea population, i.e., between an east-west line between Denmark and Sweden at 56.95°N in the Kattegat Sea, and a north-south line between Sweden and Germany at 13.5°E in the southern Baltic Sea. This survey followed line-transect distance sampling methodology according to the SCANS protocol to derive an unbiased absolute abundance estimate. With a realised effort of 4,533 km in nine strata, the observers recorded a total of 202 sightings (251 individuals, of these 16 were calves). The large majority of survey effort (91.2%) was conducted in either good or moderate sighting conditions. The abundance of the Belt Sea population was estimated to be 17,301 harbour porpoises (95% CI = 11,695-25,688; CV = 0.20), with an average density of 0.41 individuals/km² (95% CI = 0.28-0.61). This is the lowest abundance estimate since the first (SCANS) survey was conducted in 1994. However, the variance (especially of the earlier abundance estimates) is high, and a dedicated trend analysis needs to be conducted to determine if there has been a decline in the population abundance over time. The results should raise some concern about the status of the population and emphasise the importance of repeated surveys in the near future to increase the time series of robust abundance estimates available. Such time series are essential for monitoring the progress of the population towards achieving favourable conservation status under the Habitats Directive and good environmental status (GES) as demanded by the MSFD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. , p. 28
Keywords [en]
porpoise, line transect, Kattegat
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-4255OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-4255DiVA, id: diva2:1591925
Available from: 2021-09-07 Created: 2021-09-07 Last updated: 2021-09-07

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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