The countries participating in the LAPE project have all conducted small-scale, i.e. near-shore, cetacean surveys. In some cases beginning as early as 2000. These surveys are generally conducted from sport-fishing cabin cruisers or other vessels of similar size. In addition to restricted survey areas, the smaller size and lower sighting platform of these vessels mean that surveys are more affected by sea state than on the larger ships used in the large-scale surveys.
Surveys conducted prior to 2004 were completed by the countries involved with assistance from Japanese survey experts. In 2004 and 2005 the small-scale surveys were conducted as part of the LAPE project. Until 2005 surveys were conducted using fixed transects and were usually restricted to the west (leeward) side of each island. In 2005 a stratified random transect design was prepared for each country which included east side transects however, coverage of these areas was difficult unless sea conditions were exceptionally calm.
Survey effort in nautical miles surveyed each year was split between primary effort (black lines), when conditions were within required limits, and secondary effort (grey lines) when they were not, or when the survey vessel was in transit.
The small-scale survey results have been pooled across all years. Because not all countries had conducted small-scale sighting surveys prior to the LAPE project it must be borne in mind that the survey effort in some countries e.g. Dominica, is substantially greater than that in others e.g. Barbados.
Primary sightings are indicated with round markers and the secondary sightings with square markers.