As the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales begin their southward migration from New England and Canada toward the coast of Florida, including Volusia and Flagler counties, researchers are marking the beginning of calving season with uncertainty and urgency.
Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the infamous Florence whale explosion. While methods for dealing with dead whales have improved since the ’70s, the giant mammals do explode from time to time—no pyrotechnics needed. “The risk of a spontaneous explosion is always there with a decomposing whale,” says Michael Moore, a senior scientist at WHOI.
According to WHOI’s Laela Sayigh, who was not involved in the Burrunan research, identifying which dolphin in a pod is vocalizing at a particular time is key to deciphering their communication systems.
According to Laela Sayigh, from WHOI, who is not involved in the Burrunan research, identifying which dolphin in a pod is vocalizing at a particular time is key to deciphering their communication systems.
“Moorings are typically made from chain, so they clank a lot,” says Mark Baumgartner, whale ecologist and senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who helped develop the technology. “And that’s not really good when you’re trying to hear animals that are many miles away making sounds.”
Michael Moore, director of the Marine Mammal Center at WHOI, lauded the ruling, saying the “judge understands the simple truth that if there is rope in the water column, and whales come and go in the region, entanglement risk is real, and significant in terms of mortality and morbidity, especially for reproductive success.”
The future continues to grow ever darker for the highly endangered right whale, a species that has been in decline every year since 2010 and is at the heart of regulatory protection efforts threatening to upend Maine’s valuable lobster fishery.
Drone technology could better measure effect on right whales of food shortages, entanglements has been limited to dead specimens. Researchers at WHOI and Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies devised a measurement method for these ocean giants that yields accurate data that can be used for tracking the changes in body mass over time, providing clues to their daily energy requirements and the impacts of outside stressors.
Michael J. Moore, a biologist and director of the Marine Mammal Center at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, tells Jessica Leigh Hester of Atlas Obscura, body mass “tells you about the health of the animal, and in the context of its environment, it gives you a sense of how it’s doing nutritionally.”
A whale’s mass “tells you about the health of the animal, and in the context of its environment, it gives you a sense of how it’s doing nutritionally,” says Michael J. Moore, a biologist and director of the Marine Mammal Center at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
After a story about 52 Blue called “Song of the Sea, a Cappella and Unanswered” appeared in The New York Times in 2004, letters from heartsick readers flooded Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, one of the laboratories that had studied the whale. 52 Blue sang at a different frequency than all the other blue whales they had studied before.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the New York Aquarium teamed up to deploy a high-tech acoustic buoy named Melville, 22 miles south of Fire Island. Whales communicate mostly via sound, and each species has distinct calls (and even dialects).
After several years, Kara Dodge began to do other work with turtles, in particular a “TurtleCam” project with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution engineer Amy Kukulya. The project involved tagging and tailing turtles with autonomous underwater vehicles to study diving behavior, eating habits, and assess ways to reduce entanglements.
Scientists from the Benioff Ocean Initiative and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have deployed a a hydrophone, or underwater microphone, to listen for whale traffic in the Santa Barbara Channel. They hope to use the microphone to help prevent collisions between whales and boats – which are often deadly to whales.
Michael Moore, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, raised the concern that the “torturous” process the fisheries service was undertaking to write and enact the new regulations would “still come up short.”
Scientists from the Center for Coastal Studies and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are working with local commercial fishermen to install video monitoring equipment on gillnets.
An interview with Dan Zitterbart, a WHOI scientist who is testing a new thermal infrared imaging system to detection whales in busy waterways to prevent ship strikes.
To find out what causes these mass strandings of whales, WMNF interviewed Darlene Ketten, a senior research scientist at Boston University and at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Part of her research involves pathologies associated with whale strandings.
Quotes (Mark Baumgartner)
quotes Mark Baumgartner