Establishment of a standardised format, and trial of concept, for marine mammal sightings and abundance database and virtual data centre


A DFO staff member looks for whales through big-eye binoculars.

Information on marine mammal sightings and abundance collected by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is currently spread across regions using different storage formats, which leads to duplication, inconsistency, and limited accessibility of data. This project will coordinate the production of a Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) research document that describes best practices for collection and storage of sightings data. It will also develop a new database format that will incorporate all of DFO's marine mammal sightings and abundance data into a format that is easily accessible by researchers, managers, clients, and non-governmental organizations, and which will support an ecosystem-based management approach.

Program Name

Strategic Program for Ecosystem-based Research and Advice (SPERA)



Principal Investigator(s)

Jack Lawson

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