Utgiver : Nofima AS (tidligere Fiskeriforskning)
Trykt : 82-7251-490-7
Publikasjonstype : Nofimas rapportserie
Serier : Nofima rapportserie 8/2002
År : 2002
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In the period 14 March to 6 April 2002 aerial surveys were performed in the Greenland Sea pack-ice (the West Ice), to asssess the pup production of the Greenland Sea population of harp seals Pagophilus groenlandicus and, if possible, hooded seals Cystophora cristata. One fixed-wing twin-engined aircraft (stationed in Scoresbysound, Greenland, but permitted also to use the Jan Mayen island as base) was used for reconaissance flights and photographic surveys along transects over the whelping patches once they had been located and identified. A helicopter, stationed on and operated from the applied research vessel (R/V”Lance”), assisted in the reconnaissance flights, and subsequently flew visual transect surveys over the whelping patches. The helicopter was also used for other purposes, such as age-stageing (also performed along transects over the patches) and tagging of the pups. Logistical restrictions and the unusually wide distribution of the hooded seal pups made it impossible to survey both species simultaneously, and therefore hooded seal pup production was not assessed. Three harp seal breeding patches were located and surveyed. The results from the aerial surveys will be used to estimate the 2002 harp seal pup production. Subsequently, the status of the stock will be assessed by fitting population models to the pup production estimate.