The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission


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Faroe Islands

The ship-based survey began in early July 2015 on the vessel Høglkettur, and continued until early August. The focus of this survey was counting pilot whales, but all marine mammals were be documented. 

An important part of the pilot whale abundance estimate is getting accurate group size estimates. It can often be difficult to see how many whales are in a group from the vantage point of the ship. To help out with this problem, in 2015 the Faroes survey used a drone to fly over groups of whales that they encountered and took aerial video of the group. Researchers will then use this video to see how many whales were in the group and compare this to how many the observers said was in the group. 

Faorese survey vessel Hoglkettur

The vessel Høglkettur, which was used for the survey in the Faroe Islands.

The survey team also towed a hydrophone to record any vocalizations.