Summary. The likelihood function for data from independent observer line transect surveys is derived, and a hazard model is proposed for the situation where animals are available for detection only at discrete time points. Under the assumption that the time points of availability follow a Poisson point process, we obtain an analytical expression for the detection function. We discuss different criteria for choosing the hazard function and consider in particular two different parametric families of hazard functions. Discrete and continuous hazard models are compared and the robustness of the discrete model is investigated. Finally, the methodology is applied to data from a survey for minke whales in the northeastern Atlantic.