Collision risk areas between fin and humpback whales with large cargo vessels in Mejillones Bay (23°S), northern Chile

Ana M. García-Cegarra, Aldo S. Pacheco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enclosed areas such as embayments with high levels of marine traffic may put at co-occurring cetaceans at risk due to collisions with vessels. The distribution of seven cetacean species and their spatial overlap with navigation routes of large cargo ships, fishing vessels and recreational vessels were evaluated off the major port in Mejillones Bay, northern Chile. Shipping distribution, navigation speeds and cetacean positions were obtained from land-based theodolite surveys. Sighting positions were also recorded from boat-based surveys. Overlap analysis based on 50% Kernel density estimations suggested that the spatial distribution of fin and humpback whales overlapped with a high concentration of large cargo vessel navigation paths. These results point to the need for the implementation effective regulation of vessel speed to mitigate the risk of collision in Mejillones Bay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-186
Number of pages5
JournalMarine Policy
Volume103
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Rufford Foundation via Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation ( RSG: 15903-1 ). A. M. Garcia-Cegarra is supported by a Ph.D. Scholarship from the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research ( CONICYT/63140172-2014 ). Boat surveys were supported by the National Commission for Science and Technological Research ( FONDECYT ) No. 1150042 fund granted to A.S. Pacheco. We warmly thank to L. Aguilar, J. Menares, R. Riquelme and G. Ramos for the information provided regarding cetacean sightings and presence in Mejillones Bay and support with their hospitality during land-based surveys. A. Romero is thanked for the implementation of land-based observation point and theodolite training. F. Riet-Sapriza for his advices on ArcGIS software and the Departamento de Ingenieria en Geomensura y Geomatica at Universidad de Antofagasta for provided the digital bathymetry and maps of Mejillones Bay. Special thanks to Mejillones Captaincy for the information provided. We are grateful to CULTAM members for the support during land-based surveys. We very much appreciate the comments and corrections in this manuscript made by F. Riet, J. van der Hoop, K. Van Waerebeek and two anonymous reviewers.

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Rufford Foundation via Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation (RSG: 15903-1). A. M. Garcia-Cegarra is supported by a Ph.D. Scholarship from the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT/63140172-2014). Boat surveys were supported by the National Commission for Science and Technological Research (FONDECYT) No. 1150042 fund granted to A.S. Pacheco. We warmly thank to L. Aguilar, J. Menares, R. Riquelme and G. Ramos for the information provided regarding cetacean sightings and presence in Mejillones Bay and support with their hospitality during land-based surveys. A. Romero is thanked for the implementation of land-based observation point and theodolite training. F. Riet-Sapriza for his advices on ArcGIS software and the Departamento de Ingenieria en Geomensura y Geomatica at Universidad de Antofagasta for provided the digital bathymetry and maps of Mejillones Bay. Special thanks to Mejillones Captaincy for the information provided. We are grateful to CULTAM members for the support during land-based surveys. We very much appreciate the comments and corrections in this manuscript made by F. Riet, J. van der Hoop, K. Van Waerebeek and two anonymous reviewers.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright:
Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Fin whales
  • Navigation routes
  • Spatial habitat overlap
  • Vessel speed

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