Evaluating Potential Effects of Satellite Tagging in Large Whales: A Case Study with Gulf of Maine Whales
Lead PI: Dr. Jooke Robbins, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
Start Year: 2010 | Duration: 3 years
Partners: Marine Mammal Center, Australian Marine Mammal Centre, Cascadia Research Collective, National Fish and Wildlife Federation, & National Marine Mammal Lab
The researchers propose to study satellite tag retention and health impacts among Gulf of Maine humpback whales, as they are a well studied population. The primary goals of the work would be: 1) to characterize the range of physical and physiological response to foreign body penetration through the measurement of physical and physiological parameters; 2) to provide data to optimize performance, as well as minimize tag loss and impact; 3) to quantify the effect of tagging on individuals and to attempt to correlate that to sex, age class, reproductive condition, and tagging site. Up to 20 satellite tags would be placed on individually identified Gulf of Maine Humpback whales annually, 2010 through 2012.