REMMOA aerial surveys of marine fauna have been conducted in 2011 in French Polynesia. REMMOA stands for REcensements des Mammifères marins et autre Mégafaune pélagique par Observation Aérienne (Census of marine mammals and other pelagic megafauna by aerial survey).
In order to establish a baseline map of cetaceans and other pelagic megafauna across the French EEZ (Economic Exclusive Zone), the French agency for marine protected areas (AAMP), with the support of the French Ministry of Environment, decided to conduct a series of surveys allowing hotspots of abundance and diversity to be identified and a future monitoring scheme to be established.
These surveys collect data for small cetaceans, as well as for other marine mammals (large whales, sirenians), seabirds, sea-turtles, large teleosts and large elasmobranchs.
The survey in French Polynesia (third out of 4 planned so far) was conducted from January, 11, to May, 5, 2011, using 3 aircrafts and 3 survey teams of trained observers.
Te mana o te moana non-profit foundation, actively involved in study and conservation of marine species in French Polynesia, participated to the REMMOA survey. Several trained observers from te mana o te moana took part in the survey teams.
During the REMMOA-Polynesia survey, 351 sightings of cetaceans were collected on effort.
For more information about the objectives, general design, organisation and results of the REMMOA survey in French Polynesia, download the REPORT REMMOA French Polynesia (in French).