By Begoña Santos and Julio Valeiras, Cruise co-ordinators
Since the last update on 15 July, the IEO research vessel Ángeles Alvariño has had its mid-cruise stop, finished the remaining transect lines in the NW block 12, and is progressing well in the southern Bay of Biscay block 11.
To date, a total of 1747.8 nm of transect line has been searched on effort, more than 95% of it with both Tracker and Primary observation teams operating.
The second part of the survey departed Vigo on 16 July. On 17 July the first transects in block 11 were surveyed because there were still strong winds in block 12. We then managed to finish the last four transect lines in block 12 over the next two days, despite several miles of fog along two of the transects.
Now in block 11, the survey is progressing well with mostly good weather in the Cantabrian Sea. On Sunday 24 July we will finish the first set of transects in this block and then attempt to complete the second set before the end of the cruise.
So far we have made a total of 721 sightings of cetaceans! These include 8 Cuvier’s beaked whales, 499 fin whales, 21 long-finned pilot whales, 11 sperm whales; and 52 striped dolphins, 26 common dolphins, 64 common/striped dolphins, 8 bottlenose dolphins, and 27 unidentified to species.