Excited to see that the Joint Nature Conservation Committee has released the Joint Cetacean Protocol (JCP)!

The extensive analysis work was done by our colleagues at the Centre for Research into Environmental and Ecological Modelling (CREEM) here at the University of St Andrews pulling together and attempting to normalise a huge amount of survey data collected over the last few decades.

From JNCC and the authors “Effort-linked sightings data contained within the Joint Cetacean Protocol data resource were used to estimate spatio-temporal patterns of abundance for seven species of cetacean over a 17-year period from 1994 – 2010 over a 1.09 million km2 prediction region from 48° N to c. 64° N and from the continental shelf edge west of Ireland to the Kattegat in the east. The species were harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, minke whale Balaenoptera acuturostrata, bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus, short-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis, Risso’s dolphin Grampus griseus, white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostrisand Atlantic white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus. There were 38 data sources with data from at least 542 distinct survey platforms (ships and aircraft) representing over 1.05 million km of effort.”

JNCC also note: “JNCC recommends that before you consult this report you read the guidance in Appendix 7: The Joint Cetacean Protocol Project: current status, applications and limitations.”

It’s great to see it released and, whilst it’s just not the final answer on cetacean distribution, it provides another useful reference and tool in our work.