Friday, 12 August 2011

Cape Cod Bay holds Hidden Risk for Dining North Atlantic Right Whales - Science Daily

photo credit C. Hotchkin

As I've mentioned before, North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered species in the world - marine or otherwise. Only about 450 individuals are left. Needless to say, conservation efforts are trying to move forward quickly with research helping us to better understand how to protect them. The number one threat to North Atlantic right whales is ship strikes. While feeding on tiny crustaceans called copepods (think Plankton from SpongeBob), these whales cruise along just below the surface where they are difficult to see but still in danger of being hit by boat propellers. What's more is they're pretty much silent feeders.

"Auto-detection buoys are making a remarkable attempt at recording the whale sounds to show when whales are in the area," said Susan Parks, assistant professor of acoustics and ecology and senior research associate, Penn State Applied Research Laboratory. "But North Atlantic right whales don't make call sounds when they are eating, so they don't show the whales when they are feeding."

Researchers are attaching suction cups with acoustic recording tags to the whales (pictured above) to track their movements in an effort to learn where they go to feed and what areas to focus on protecting.

Full article here (Science Daily)


  1. Thanks so much for keeping us posted on important issues Sara! Found you on the COARE blog via Friends of Sharks.

    My dear friend, Bob (Robert) Crowder, was a marine biologist until his untimely death in Indonesia last October. He traveled the world photographing underwater creatures and became fascinated with sharks. His photographs were published in National Geographic. Bob's passion became campaigning to stop shark finning. A shark sanctuary was created in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, in Bob's name.

    Your concern for the ocean and educating the public is critical. Thank you so much for your dedication!

    All the best ~

  2. I'm quite happy you're here but I believe you have me mistaken for someone else!
    I am familiar with the Raja Ampat sanctuary, however, as I have a friend who works in that area. Perhaps I will do a post on that place soon!

  3. Ooops, possibly I have . . . but it's a good mistake: ) I would love to read a post about the sanctuary! I would pass it on to Bobby's family and friends ~ they would love it.