New data on cetaceans of the Kerguelen Islands

TitleNew data on cetaceans of the Kerguelen Islands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsRobineau, D, Duhamel, G

New sightings and some strandings extend the first evaluation of the cetacean fauna established in 1989 for the Kerguelen Islands. Stranding data reveal the presence of two new species (Ziphius cavirostris and Hyperoodon planifrons) in addition to the nine previously identified (Eubalaena glacialis, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, Megaptera novaeangliae, Physeter macrocephalus, Mesoplodon layardii, Lagenorhynchus cruciger, Cephalorhynchus commersonfi, Orcinus orca, and Globicephala melas). The occasional occurrence of Phocoena dioptrica is confirmed. Since 1989, the most important result is the large number of sightings (n=1649) of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) beyond the Kerguelen Island plateau, in an area rarely visited by fishing boats in the past. For the most common species, Commerson's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii), distributional data are supplemented by biological and ecological informations. For three species (Physeter macrocephalus, Orcinus orca and Globicephala melas) we provide evidence of interactions with the longline fishery for Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides).