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Monitoring trends in dolphin abundance in the eastern tropical pacific using research vessels over a long sampling period analyses of 1986 data the first year

, : Monitoring trends in dolphin abundance in the eastern tropical pacific using research vessels over a long sampling period analyses of 1986 data the first year. Fishery Bulletin (Washington D C) 88(1): 105-112

During 1986, the National Marine Fisheries Service began conducting long-term research vessel surveys to determine trends in population size of dolphin stocks taken incidentally by tuna purse seiners in the eastern tropical Pacific. Line transect methodology was used by observers aboard two vessels for 120 days each. We assumed the variability associated with the abundance estimates would be relatively constant during the sampling period and investigated (1) annual changes in population size of the northern offshore spotted stock that could be detected within a 5-year (six survey) sampling period, and (2) the number of years required to detect a 10% annual decline with .alpha. and .beta. error levels of 10%. The abundance estimate of the northern offshore spotted dolphin stock using the first year's data was 929,0000 animals. After 5 years, a minimum 17.6% annual decline could be detected during which 62% of the stock would decrease. A 10% annual decline can be detected in a minimum of 8 years. Data from subsequent surveys will be investigated that may improve our ability to detect smaller annual declines.


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