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Investigations of the prevalence of minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) at the Doggerbank

Projectdata

Project leader: Prof. Prof. Dr. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert, Dr. Anita Gilles
Project term: April 2016 until June 2018
Sponsorship: WWF Germany, Berlin
Cooperation partner: Aarhus University, Denmark
University St. Andrews, Scotland
IMARES Wageningen, Netherlands

Project description

 

The Doggerbank, the largest sandbank of the central North Sea, is an important habitat of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), which is the most frequently occurring baleen whale species in the entire North Sea. There is a high biological level of production due to the relatively shallow sea in the Doggerbank area combined with a special circulation. This results in rich but agglomerated food resources for apex predators like seabirds and marine mammals owing to good growing conditions for fish populations.

Minke whales are endangered because of several anthropogenic impacts like fishery activities or offshore construction of wind farms due to their biology and occurrence in the North Sea and adjacent waters. Miscellaneous visual surveys on a national as well as international level were conducted in the Doggerbank marine area in the last few years. The collected data are archived in different data bases and have not been merged and analysed yet.

These archived data shall be evaluated during this project in cooperation with Danish, Dutch and British colleagues. Additionally, an acoustic monitoring for the identification of minke whales is to be established. These studies are important steps in order to understand the minke whales´ habitat utilisation in the Doggerbank area more accurately as well as to better protect this species.

Contact person

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum

 

Dr. Helena Herr

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Anschrift
Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum
Kontakt
Tel.:+49 511 856-8177
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