Geostatistical Analyses of Interactions between Minke Whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and Whale-Watching Boats in Skjalfandi Bay, Northeast Iceland
Cummings, Joshua Isaac
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The Icelandic whale-watching industry has experienced rapid growth since its inception in 1991, and today represents the fastest growing economic activity of the country. Skjalfandi Bay in Northeast Iceland has become the epicenter of whale-watching in Iceland, yet little is known about the local effects of the whale-watching industry on cetaceans. I used theodolite techniques and GIS to examine boat effects on the swimming speed, directionality, inter-breath intervals, and surface feeding events of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in Skjalfandi Bay. The proximity and number of vessels did not have a statistically significant effect on any aspect of minke behavior. These results contradict a previous study from Faxafloi Bay, suggesting that differences exist between the two locations, and that management strategies may need to be location-specific.
- Marine affairs