SCANS-III is a large-scale ship and aerial survey to study the distribution and abundance of cetaceans in European Atlantic waters. The survey was conducted predominantly during July 2016, when three ships and seven aircraft surveyed along predetermined transects for whales, dolphins and porpoises. Similar surveys were conducted in 1994 and 2005/07. The fourth took place during summer 2022.
As results continue to emerge, information from the survey will enable the conservation status of several species of cetacean to be assessed at a biologically appropriate spatial scale. This information is essential to support conservation efforts throughout Atlantic Europe and the survey is supported by the governments of Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
SCANS-III is coordinated by the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, with partner institutes from other supporting countries.