Location: Florida and the Florida Keys
Berths: For a crew of 2 scientists
Duration/timing: June-August 2021 (dates flexible)
Necessary equipment: No specific equipment is required onboard since only visual data will be collected. Binoculars, GPS, and lens cameras will be provided by the principal investigator and his institution.
Very little is known on the distribution and occurrence of cetaceans in the Florida Straits. Using visual transect surveys, we propose to investigate the spatial distribution, species composition, and abundance of cetaceans in the coastal and oceanic waters of the Florida Straits.
For the first time, we hope to document the species composition, spatial distribution, and abundance of cetaceans in the Florida Straits, where no dedicated research on cetaceans has ever been carried out. Identifying important cetacean habitats in this region that is strongly impacted by vessel traffic, acoustic disturbance, and other anthropogenic impacts will be critical for future conservation and management of cetaceans.
Lead Scientist: Dr. Jeremy J. Kiszka, The project leader has studied marine mammals around the globe for the past 17 years. Dr Kiska is the principal investigator of the Marine Conservation Ecology laboratory, and an Assistant Professor within the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University.