Did you know?
SLGO is the first integrated ocean observing system in Canada.
The main objectives of the tool for community input are:
This associative project between SLGO and ROMM helps make ROMM’s data available and researchable by both the general public and research managers from research institutions, ministries and other conservation organizations that could benefit from it. As for ROMM, this project allows:
In addition, significant community data from the observation of marine mammals will be generated and made public through this project.
The data collected by the ROMM come from three different sources:
In the sake of uniformity, the displayed and downloadable data on the SLGO’s interface are only presence data. However, it should be noted that part of the database, the data from ROMM scientific monitoring (2), are presence/absence data. If you wish to obtain the complete database including the absences, please contact directly the ROMM: firstname.lastname@example.org .
1. In regard to ROMM’s environmental observation project, data harvesting is ensured by naturalists, officers and/or captains. When resources permit, ROMM shares training tools with all members of its observation projects, as well as information regarding targeted species. A protocol as well as an observation checklist has been created for that purpose. Thus, during every outing, team members are expected to identify marine mammals (seals and whales), sharks and sea turtles as they are encountered. A variety of information is collected during each observation and recorded on personalized data grids (e.g., observation period, species encountered, number of individuals, location, etc.). The collected data are routed to the network, compiled in a database (Excel) and later analyzed. The analysis is done for each member’s recordings individually. That being said, what is presented in the annual report is an overall picture of the season as a whole.
Looking at the distribution map of ROMM marine mammal data, you will find that there is a location point off Forillon (Pointe de la Gaspésie) where a few thousand data were collected (map 1). These are data from the Bay of Gaspé Cruises. In their data grid, this company does not indicate the precise geolocation of the collected observations, but rather pre-identified large zones of their observation territory (map 2). When the data is located on maps, the ROMM indicated a central geo-referenced point for each of the zones, thus generating a large number of observations for the same georeferenced point.
2. Studies such as those conducted within ROMM’s marine observation activities involve placing qualified observers on observation vessels to systematically collect data according to established protocols
Equipped with binoculars, GPS (global positioning system) and data grids, observers collect information on different species of whales and seals including notes about their particular behavior. They also record data on the approach, the number and types of boats present around marine mammals in any given sector. Note that such data recording is done systematically throughout the entire observation industry and not specifically in relation to cetacean encounters.
3. Finally, community data recorded directly by citizens on the SLGO website are all automatically validated by the ROMM team before being made available to the public. Indeed, data from citizen science have their limits in terms of usage and are not generally accounted for as scientific. Some of the reasons are:
Data from environmental observation project ROMM collected by observer members, as well as data from projects having a more scientific connotation, such as marine observation activities from MOA, are not available in real time on the SLGO platform due to the time it takes to capture, compile and analyze the data. Findings are only made available the spring following after the summer observation. Only community data recorded by citizens are available within days after validation.
The database made accessible to everyone contains the following information:
Note: Any lack of data does not mean an absence of species, rather, that the attendance of species is not known.