Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Collects More Whale Data in 2015

COURTESY OF THE STELLWAGEN BANK NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY.

COURTESY OF THE STELLWAGEN BANK NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY.

SCITUATE – The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary tagged and collected under-water data from 17 whales this year.

Colt, Mouse, Inchworm, Iota and Springboard were some of the names given to the 11 humpback whales that were tagged.

The humpbacks generally receive their names from the pigmentation and scarring patterns on the undersides of their tales which are unique to each whale.

The tagging was conducted from June 16 through June 25 under the direction of sanctuary research coordinator David Wiley.

Researchers used a variety of data recording equipment including digital acoustic recording tags that capture depth, direction, pitch, roll and sounds made by the whales and the Crittercam video recording device from the National Geographic Society.

All of the tags use non-invasive suction cups for attachment.

Researchers also tagged six fin whales which are not as well studied and more difficult to identify.

The sanctuary has now recorded data on the under-water behaviors of 150 whales since 2004.

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