Fin whale trifecta

We have been focused on baleen whales the last few days in the SOCAL-13 project, primarily fin whales. Over the past three days we deployed ten tags on fin whales (and one on a blue whale) and ran two CEEs plus a full control sequence with a total of seven tagged animals. All of these had accompanying prey imaging and sampling of some of the surface evident krill schools on which the krill were feeding. In several cases we were able to tag two whales in the same group (including the mother-juvenile pair shown above – credit A. Friedlaender taken under NMFS permit #14534). This lets us look at the coordination (or lack thereof) in movement and vocal patterns in these animals, including any possible differential responses to similar sound exposures. We are still hoping to get back offshore to some of the deeper water areas to work with beaked whales and other focal species, but the offshore weather at present in southern California is not particularly agreeing. We will provide subsequent updates on our progress as possible.

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SOCAL-BRS is a study of basic behavior and responses to controlled sound exposures in a variety of marine mammal species.

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