ESEP prepress abstract  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00180

Searching for meaning in marine mammal shared data

Giovanni Bearzi*, Olivier Gimenez

*Email: giovanni.bearzi@gmail.com

ABSTRACT: The sharing of marine mammal data is a worthwhile practice, but there are caveats. Data interpretation may be difficult, sometimes resulting in inappropriate formulation of research questions, or misleading information. Here, we point out some of the challenges when dealing with shared marine mammal datasets. We emphasize the importance of collecting, publishing and sharing data in ways that can produce unbiased and meaningful knowledge, ultimately inspiring and directing management action. Finally, we suggest that bridging the gap between data sharing and data reuse will require enhanced spatially referenced online databases as well as direct collaboration between the analysts and field researchers possessing relevant place-based expertise.