Provincetown Centre for Coastal Studies - Whale Satellite Tagging
Global Ocean is passionate about the humpback whale satellite tagging project; a collaborative program between Provincetown Centre for Coastal Studies, the National Marine Mammal Laboratory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Compared to traditional studies, tags provide far greater detail on large whale movements and habitat use, with past tagging projects revealing the existence of entirely unknown whale habitats. As such, tagging represents an important tool for the conservation of whales.
At the moment the project has tagged whales in the Gulf of Maine, results highlight that they are showing local movements, staying within a relatively small area i.e. to feed (rather than migrate).
Click HERE to see whale movements in the Gulf of Maine.
Previous tagging studies of this nature have also shown more long-distance movements of humpback whales, notably in the West Indies and South Pacific:
For a detailed overview of the project click HERE
For another example of how satellite tagging has help advance our knowledge of whale habitat use click HERE
Hauser, N et.al (2010) Movements of satellite-monitored humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, from the Cook Islands. Marine Mammal Science. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2009.00363.x
Garrigue, C et al. (2010) Movements of satellite-monitored humpback whales from New Caledonia. Journal of Mammalogy 91(1): p109–115.
Horton, T et al. (2011) Straight as an arrow: humpback whales swim constant course tracks during long-distance migration. Biol.Lett. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.0279
Many thanks to Alexandre N Zerbini, Ph.D. (National Marine Mammal Laboratory), Phillip Clapham (NOAA) and Jooke Robbins, P.H.D. (Provincetown Centre for Coastal studies) for providing this information.