REPCET® sightings in 2021
The REPCET system allows the real-time sharing of large cetacean positions between different vessels. REPCET is a collaborative network, so when an officer sees a cetacean, they can transmit the position of the cetacean to the network of equipped vessels through REPCET. This sharing of positions allows vessels to take appropriate measures to limit collision situations. All the data collected through REPCET is stored and each year we carry out a review of all the reports from the previous year.
In 2021, 37 vessels were equipped with the system and were able to send alerts via REPCET, there is an increase in the number of sightings compared to 2020. On these reports 964 were sent from the Mediterranean sea and 104 from other oceans, mainly the North Atlantic Ocean, but also the Pacific Ocean and the Bengal Sea. In the Mediterranean, 49% of the reports are small cetaceans and 45% are large cetaceans, the remaining 6% are floating objects or deceased cetaceans. The striped dolphin is the most reported species in the Mediterranean, followed closely by the fin whale.
Amongst the large cetaceans (fin whales and sperm whales) reported via REPCET in 2021, fin whales are the most sighted large cetacea, with almost 70% of the sightings in the Mediterranean, i.e. 318 reports for a total of 437 individuals. As large cetaceans are the species most threatened by shipstrikes, a special effort is being made to report them via the system.
The REPCET network continues to grow and the reports made through it enable scientists to refine their knowledge of these species. Congratulations on the involvement of the crew members who use the REPCET system.