START SOCAL-13 PHASE II – Double Rissos
We’re very glad to be back together for this last phase of our SOCAL-BRS project for 2013. We pushed out from Santa Barbara yesterday and came south in pretty good weather. A group of humpback whales has been working in some mixed-species aggregations chasing fish in the Santa Barbara Channel and we came across a few of them right off the bat. We moved on with no tags deployed and searched deeper waters south of Santa Cruz Island. We found two different groups of Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) near Santa Barbara Island and came fairly close to tagging one but didn’t manage to.
Today we had really fantastic weather for most of the day and we searched large areas offshore. We didn’t find any beaked whales but came across quite a few groups of Rissos dolphins (Grampus griseus). There were several good candidate groups and by early afternoon we managed to deploy two tags on adult animals in two different groups. Our controlled exposure experiment (CEE) focused on one group with the second tagged animal about 10 miles away. Tagging and CEE on two simultaneous Rissos dolphins (see tagged Rissos below – taken under NMFS #14534, credit J. Calambokidis) at different ranges is a new accomplishment for us in SOCAL-BRS and a good start to our final field phase over the next two weeks.
For more information on the SOCAL-BRS project, make sure to check out all the resources and photos in our blog and at www.socal-brs.org.