Kymberly M. Yano, Erin M. Oleson, Jeffrey E. Moore, Lisa T. Ballance, and Jennifer L. Keating
The Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey (HICEAS, pronounced “high-seas”) is a large-scale ship survey project for cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and seabirds within the U.S. waters of the Hawaiian Islands, including areas around the Northwest and Main Hawaiian Islands out to 200 nmi offshore (this area is referred to as the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, or "EEZ"). HICEAS was conducted by the Pacific Islands and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers. NOAA Fisheries conducted HICEAS in 2002, 2010, and 2017.
The goals of HICEAS are to estimate how many cetaceans are in Hawaiian waters, examine their population structure, and understand their habitat. HICEAS 2017 was also the start of a new multi-agency plan called Pacific Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (PacMAPPS). PacMAPPS is a partnership among NOAA Fisheries, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to collect data and produce abundance estimates for species of joint management interest. PacMAPPS includes rotational surveys throughout the Pacific to assess the abundance of cetacean species and their ecosystems.
Four primary research components:
Daytime sighting effort within the Hawai‘i EEZ (black outline), including seven ship legs aboard two NOAA ships.
Summary of cetacean species recorded within the Hawai‘i EEZ, with >10 group encounters during HICEAS. Species seen as part of mixed species groups are counted once for each species.
|Common Name||Total Groups|
|Short-finned pilot whale||35|
|False killer whale||27|
|Pantropical spotted dolphin||25|
|Unidentified beaked whale||24|
|Unidentified small dolphin||20|
|Cuvier's beaked whale||11|
Select Sighting and Distribution Maps
Summary of seabird encounters recorded in the Hawai‘i EEZ with >100 individuals, in descending order of total number of individuals.
|Wedge-tailed shearwater (light morph)||2619||5300|
|Slender-billed (Short-tailed) shearwater||166||2720|
|Wedge-tailed shearwater (dark morph)||687||2609|
|Juan Fernandez petrel||141||162|
|Wedge-tailed shearwater (intermediate morph)||119||152|
Select Density (birds/100 km2) and Distribution Maps
Satellite Tag Location Data
False Killer Whales, n=4
Short-finned Pilot Whales, n=3
Seven satellite tags were deployed on false killer whales and short-finned pilot whales around the Main Hawaiian Islands. These figures show the location of each whale through the duration of each tag deployment.
DASBR Location Data
Nineteen Drifting Acoustic Spar Buoy Recorders (DASBRs) were deployed around the Main Hawaiian Islands. Thirteen of the 19 were recovered (location tracks are shown in color) and 6 acoustic recorders were lost at sea (shown in gray).
Cetacean Data Collected
Cetacean Sightings/Detections within the Hawai’i EEZ
Seabird Sightings within the Hawai’i EEZ
Outside the Hawai’i EEZ