RV Celtic Voyager CV18033

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)RV Celtic Voyager (45CV)
Cruise identifierCV18033
Cruise period2018-10-24 — 2018-11-02
Port of departureCork, Ireland
Port of returnDublin, Ireland
ObjectivesA multi-disciplinary survey of an offshore killer whale community that associate with the Northeast Atlantic mackerel fishery.


1. Carry out a sightings-based survey to record marine mammal sightings and to determine if killer whale distribution is heavily influenced by location of mackerel fishing vessels and/or activity of fishing vessels (steaming/trawling/hauling/fish pumping)
2. Take high quality images of killer whales for, individual identification, estimating abundance, group composition, and comparison with ID catalogues from surrounding countries to gain insights into site/fishery fidelity and year-round movements.
3. Take skin biopsies to carry out genetic and stable-isotope analyses to reveal population structure and diet.
4. Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling for genetic analyses. DNA will be extracted from filtered seawater samples and tested for the presence of killer whale DNA.
5. Collect acoustic data, specifically individual signature whistles with the use of a dipping hydrophone, for comparison with other killer whale populations in the Northeast Atlantic to further aid in identifying geographical range and population connectivity. Note: a towed Passive Acoustic Array was added to the survey to allow collection of acoustic data while in transit.
6. Gather drone footage to investigate foraging behaviour and movements of the killer whales around the fishing vessels to determine if a feeding hierarchy exists.
Chief scientistRoisin Pinfield (University College Cork School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences)
Cruise reportRV Celtic Voyager CV18033 cruise report celticvoyager_cv18033.pdf (1.76 MB) 
NPRCRV Celtic Voyager CV18033 NPRC celticvoyager_cv18033.pdf (0.08 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth Sea
SpecificEast of Fair Isle
Track chartsRV Celtic Voyager CV18033 cruise track — celticvoyager_cv18033trk.pdf (0.73 MB)