Cetacean sightings in Puerto Rican waters: including the first underwater photographic documentation of a minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
Keywords:conservation, management, biodiversity, whales, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Opportunistic encounters by experts and the public (i.e. fishermen, tourists) can be great assets to understanding cetacean distribution, especially in areas where surveys are limited. Sightings of Puerto Rican pelagic cetaceans have been reported in the past, with known seasonality in some species. Within this report, we document sightings for eight species, report new monthly distributions for three of these species, as well as the presence of rough-toothed dolphins close to the coast, and the first underwater sighting of a minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) off San Juan, Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, the lack of long-term studies due to limited funding and resources has been an obstacle in determining species diversity and overall health of cetacean populations. However, this note provides evidence that collaboration between marine biologists and citizen-based science is possible and desired, and serves as a valuable resource to protect and conserve native, pelagic, and transient cetacean species around Puerto Rican waters.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).