Summary of Working Paper No. 118-1998

II.4.3 The Distribution of Marine Mammals in the Northern Sea Route Area

E. Belikov, A. N. Boltunov, and T. P. Belikova, All-Russian Institute for Nature Conservation and Reserves, Moscow, Russia; T. A. Belevich, Moscow State University, Russia; Y. A. Gorbunov, Arcitic and Antarctic Research Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia

The main objective of the marine mammal project under INSROP is to establish a database containing information on distribution, abundance, migrations, and breeding and feeding areas of selected marine mammals in the Northern Sea Route (NSR) area, and to present a discussion of possible impacts of the projected shipping activity on these species. The present report gives a detailed description of the distribution of the marine mammal Valued Ecosystem Components (VECs) selected for the NSR area. The species that have been selected as VECs are polar bear, walrus, bearded seal, ringed seal, white whale, grey whale and bowhead whale. The report gives a review of formal status, sub-populations/sub-species, distribution and density, total numbers, migrations, breeding areas, socio-economic importance and anthropogenic impact for the selected species.

The information on distribution and density are implemented in the INSROP GIS database. Maps produced in this system, showing the seasonal distribution and density of the selected species, are presented in the report.