The number of boats in the area during the survey period may have an impact on dolphin presence. Boat noise has the potential to disturb cetaceans, making it harder for the animals to hunt, navigate and communicate with other members of the group. By collecting information about the number and types of boats present during each Shorewatch we may be able to, over time, determine if boat presence effects how cetaceans use a particular site.
During the watch make a mental note of any boats you see; confirm and record it in the boats column on your data sheet after the 10-miunte watch. Count the number of boats seen up to the horizon (with the naked eye) and record the number and ‘boat type’ using the input codes on your WDC Shorewatch Boat Key (one in every Shorewatch kit). If all watchers use this key to categorise individual boats we are minimising the variation between individual observers.
|MSV||Sailing vessel under motor|
|SM||Small motorboat: less than 10m|
|LM||Large motorboat: more than 10m|
|O||Other vessel: please specify|