BEAKED WHALE TAGGING EXPERIMENT 17 OCTOBER - 5 NOVEMBER
Researchers from Bahamas Marine Mammal Survey (BMMS) joined scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) to tag beaked whales at the Atlantic Undersea
Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) range in the Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO), with the support of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC). The primary goal was to collect
baseline data on the diving behaviour of beaked whales, using a combined acoustic and movement recording tag called the D-Tag, with a suction cup attachment and deployed
using a hand held pole from a small tag boat.
On October 23rd, beaked whales were localized on the range by the NUWC team using the bottom-mounted hydrophone array and we were vectored to the animals' location
where a group of 5 Blainville's beaked whales were sighted. The groups' composition was a male, an adult female, a mother-calf pair, and a juvenile.
A D-Tag was sucessfully attached to the adult female of this group. The tag remained on the animal for 19.4 hours, resulting in a dive profile of that contained 7
deep foraging dives to depths in excess of 1000 metres, as shown below (click on the image to see her dive profile).
The data is being analysed to learn about dive behaviour, foraging ecology, prey size, and buzz and click characterisation.