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Some design principles for marine mammal impact assessment studies

Pollock, K.H. (2011) Some design principles for marine mammal impact assessment studies. In: 48th Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Science Association, 3 - 7 July, Fremantle, Western Australia.


In Western Australia many marine mammal assessment studies are planned for marine areas likely to be affected by many kinds of development. I consider the fundamental design issues of such studies from a statistical perspective. Ideally studies should be designed to collect both before and after data on sites likely to be both heavily and lightly impacted by development projects (BACI). This leads to general issues of choice of sampling units and their scale. The relative merits of estimation of relative abundance versus absolute abundance are contrasted. This leads to the need for estimation of a detection process model consisting of both an availability and a perception component. Some methods of estimating these detection probabilities are considered for different types of surveys for both aerial and boat observation platforms. I conclude with a discussion of bias and precision issues.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
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