Three ship-based visual surveys of the temporal and spatial distribution of marine mammals in the CCLME region were undertaken during the FAO/CCLME fisheries research cruises off the Northwest African in 2012-2013 on board the R/V Fridtjof Nansen using the following methodology:
- collection of marine mammal sighting data including number of sightings per species, observer effort data and relative densities using standard data sampling protocols,
- Recording of the following parameters: species, GPS position, data/time, bearing /radial distance reaction to vessel, group size, behavior, any cutaneous diseases, associated species, habitat data, voucher photos, and
- Evaluation of the marine mammal biodiversity, distribution, relative density, seasonality aspects, health status in relation to habitat/oceanography and historical insights from the literature.
Training and equipment was provided to marine biologists from the region during these surveys. The data collected have been used to enrich the OBIS database.