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Proceedings 2011/054

Evaluation of methods for estimating bowhead whale abundance; September 28 and 29, 2011

Chairperson: D. Bowen
Editor: C. Chmelnitsky


Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Central and Arctic Region held a science peer review meeting on September 28-29, 2011, in Winnipeg via WebEx and teleconference. The purpose of this meeting was to evaluate bowhead whale population abundance estimate techniques including aerial surveys (e.g., winter or summer range) and mark-recapture methods (e.g., photo-identification, genetics). Meeting participants included participants from DFO Science, DFO Fisheries Management, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., LGL Limited, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the, Universities of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saint Mary's. During the meeting, participants discussed the disadvantages and advantages, as well as timeframes and other available information, of each method, particularly in relation to estimating the abundance of the Eastern Canada-West Greenland bowhead whale population. This information is needed to support both short- and longer-term management of this species. This proceedings report summarizes the relevant discussions and key conclusions reached at the meeting.

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