Beaked whale bonanza!!!
Sorry for the radio silence with the SOCAL-13 blog. We have had very good offshore conditions and great success accordingly! In fact, the last five days have seen multiple beaked whale tags deployed and multiple groups seen with many other near-miss approaches, which is a first in our efforts out here. We have gotten two long tags deployed on Cuvier’s beaked whales, one of which involved a mid-frequency sonar controlled exposure, and gotten a ton of great baseline data as well on these very difficult to study species (see above and below photos on Cuvier’s beaked whale tagging and tag on – both taken under NMFS permit #14534 by J. Calambokidis).
We have also had great success with other species as well, including Rissos dolphins and blue whales (see below – taken under NMFS permit #14534 by J. Calambokidis).
At the moment we have two more blue whales tagged and narrowing in on a fin whale, planning for some mapping of the prey fields for these feeding whales and a possible experimental trial this afternoon. We may be offshore again tomorrow with great conditions forecast but will provide more updates when we can. Thanks for the nice comments and interest in our progress out here studying these amazing animals.