In 2019, 1051 observations were reported on the REPCET® software in the Mediterranean sea and other seas or oceans. Large cetaceans such as fin whales and sperm whales are increasingly reported on the REPCET® interface. In 2014, they represented 25% of cetaceans recorded in the software and in 2019 they represented around 50% of all large marine mammals entered into REPCET®. These encouraging results show the willingness and the growing involvement of the ship crews in spotting these animals.
In the Mediterranean sea, the fin whale is the most spotted large marine mammals with 281 sightings in 2019. The fin whale is the most spotted in the Mediterranean sea in 2019 with 281 observations. Outside the Mediterranean, the number of sightings has increased every year since 2017.Yet it’s impossible to draw conclusions on the abundance of the species concerned because of the very large areas covered. However, this demonstrates the users willingness to share information, including in sectors where the REPCET® network is less developed.
The numerous observations of marine mammals recorded on REPCET® and the information transmitted in near real time help to prevent ship strikes. Indeed, the crew members increase their vigilance when a cetacean is reported nearby.
The information entered in the REPCET® software also makes possible to enlarge and consolidate the database used for the scientific research because the scientists can have an access to the information throughout the year. The involvement and vigilance of all crews members in reporting cetacean positions with the software has to be emphasized and encouraged.
Special thanks to all the crew members for their efforts in using the REPCET® software in 2019.