Foraging behavior and habitat use of short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorynchus)

This work comprises two main components:

Using telemetry data to examine the spatial habitat use and diving behavior of short-finned pilot whales in the Mid-Atlantic Bight in relation to oceanographic and bathymetric variables. This research aims to identify the foraging habitat of pilot whales, and to elucidate how both dynamic and static environmental variables drive the distribution of this species.

Assessing spatial overlap between short-finned pilot whales and the pelagic longline fishery in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. The total annual estimated fishery-related mortality and serious injury (M/SI) of short-finned pilot whales in the pelagic longline fishery exceeded the Potential Biological Removal (PBR) for this stock in 2015. This work seeks to identify pilot whale “hotspots” and to predict areas of high risk for interactions between pilot whales and longline gear based on environmental variables.

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