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Position, swimming direction and group size of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the presence of a fast-ferry in the Bay of Biscay

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Abstract

We analyze group size, swimming direction and the orientation of fin whales relative to a fast ferry in the Bay of Biscay. Fin whale groups (≥3 individuals) were on average closer to the vessel than single individuals and pairs (F1,114 = 4.94, p = 0.028) and were more often observed within a high-risk angle ahead of the ferry (binomial probability: p = 7.60 × 10−11). Also, small groups tend to swim in the opposite direction (heading of 180°) of the ferry at the starboard side (binomial test: p = 6.86 × 10−5) and at the portside (binomial test: p = 0.0156). These findings provide valuable information to improve shipping management procedures in areas at high risk for collisions.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235–240
JournalOceanologia
Volume58
Issue number3
Early online date1 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Peer-reviewedYes

Keywords

    Research areas

  • Fin whales, Ship strikes, Behavior

Bibliographic note

2016 Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

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