The STAR2006 cruise surveyed marine mammals and their habitat in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) from late July through early December of 2006 aboard NOAA Ships David Starr Jordan and McArthur II.The primary objective was to assess the status of dolphin stocks which have been taken as incidental catch by the yellowfin tuna purse-seine fishery. An ecosystem approach was used. We conducted studies of cetacean distribution and abundance, movements, vocalizations, phylogeny and systematics, and behavior. Ecosystem sampling was used to study physical and biological oceanographic characteristics, mid trophic prey fishes and squids, seabirds, and marine turtles. Aerial photographs were taken from a fixed wing aircraft to calibrate cetacean school size estimates and to study cetacean life history.
Dr. Lisa Ballance is the Chief Scientist for the STAR survey.