On 27th October 2010, BMMRO research associate, Dr. John Durban (U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service), placed a satellite tag on a known adult male Blainville's beaked
whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) in South Abaco.
This work was carried out as part of a collaboration between BMMRO, the Protected Resources Division
of the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (http://swfsc.noaa.gov/prd.aspx) and the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center (http://www.nuwc.navy.mil/),
with tagging funds provided by the NOAA Ocean Acoustics Program (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/). Secondary objectives include obtaining photo-identification
data and biopsy samples. Please see our initial story for this project, detailing our objectives, in our
November 2009 news story, as well as April's news story this year.
The map below shows the locations of both the Blainville's beaked whale, tagged in October, and a
Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), tagged in April 2009. These animals remained in the same areas
where tagging occurred, while their movements were being monitored.
The tags can be prorammed to record the amount of time the whales spend in different temperature ranges and we use this temperature data as a proxy for
dive depths. The graph below shows that the Blainville's beaked whale spent more time nearer the surface (warmer water) than the Cuvier's beaked whale,
and also that the Cuvier's spent more time at the deepest depths (colder water).