Whale research – Behind the scenes #3

Preparation for Departure!


Research on whales is still in its infancy. Ari Friedlaender, PhD from Oregon State University and his international team, are conducting science via samples in Antarctica to improve the knowledge on Antarctic local and migratory pods:

Less than two weeks prior setting sail with One Ocean Expeditions to study the behavior of humpback whales around the Antarctic Peninsula, we are getting our new equipment ready.  In order to study the underwater movement patterns of the whales we deploy multi-sensor and video recording tags on the whales.  These tags measure the pitch, roll, heading, speed, and depth of the whales continuously.  A new feature to these tags is the video recording ability too so we can literally ride along with the whale and see what it sees and where it goes. These tags stay on the whale for about 24 hours and give us the ability to understand the day in the life of Antarctic whales.

All of the data gets stored on the tags so it is critical that we retrieve them after they have fallen off the whale.  Each tag is equipped with a radio transmitter and a satellite transmitter so we can locate the tag even if the whale is far from our location.  Once the tags are back we plug them in, offload the data, and then our team goes to work to uncover the mysteries of these whales.   We have great success in deploying these tags and can almost always find a humpback whale that is a willing volunteer for our science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you missed part 1? CLICK HERE to read the story from the beginning.
Have you missed part 2? CLICK HERE to read more.

One Ocean Expeditions operates expedition cruises in remote areas of the world, with its main goal to create ambassadors for the ocean. To help raise awareness for marine mammal research,  tag your most recent or favourite image of a whale encounter anywhere in the world with #OOEwhalemigration.

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