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SOLAMAC - Society Latin American of Specialists in Aquatic Mammals

Virtual library  -  PhD theses

Interactions between cetaceans and marine seismic acquisitions in Brazil
- Name: Cristiano Leite Parente

- Doctoral thesis title: Interactions between cetaceans and marine seismic acquisitions in Brazil

- Institution: Federal University of Pernambuco

- Supervisor: Maria Elisabeth de Araújo

- Year of defense: 2008

The concern about seismic survey effects in cetaceans was enhanced after opening the market of oil and gas exploration to private companies in 1997. The Federal government started to request the observation of aquatic mammals during seismic surveys by geophysical companies. Even so, the effects of seismic surveys in cetaceans from Brazil are little known. This study evaluated data from observations of cetaceans during seismic surveys carried out between 1999 and 2004. This data were associated with strandings of Humpback whales at the same period. It was also done an analysis of the historic of seismic surveys since the start of hydrocarbon exploration in Brazil, as well as scientific information about the impacts of this activity in cetaceans. The seismic surveys do not constitute a recent threat to cetacean species, in Brazil it occurs since 1950s. Currently the seismic surveys offer more threat to ocean than coastal species. It was not identified a significant relation between strandings of Humpback whales and seismic surveys. A significant negative correlation between seismic surveys and diversity of cetaceans suggests that this group can be used as a biological indicator of impacts of the activity. The impacts of seismic surveys in cetaceans are not easily identified and it is necessary to have temporal series of analyses with standard methodology to identify them. The Governmental institutions should act integrated with grant agencies to define long-term monitoring programs aimed at identifying effects of the activity in populations of cetaceans occurring in Brazilian waters.

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