Acquisition of oceanographic measurements from baleen whales
Diving ocean predators can act as “real-time autonomous sampling platforms” in remote or ice covered waters when fitted with satellite transmitters. Sampling of oceanographic data, including salinity (conductivity), temperature and depth, by marine mammals is not only relevant to understand the ecology of the animals, but also in oceanography. It has been used widely with seals and to a lesser extent with narwhals and belugas. These data can be incorporated into existing oceanographic monitoring of e.g. climate change or they can be used as proxies for prey availability and habitat preferences.
• To develop electrode CTD satellite transmitters in collaboration with Wildlife Computers (WC) for baleen whales that can collect and transmit data on location, depth, temperature and salinity at specific depths.
• To develop and test the deployment techniques for two tag designs (the one developed with WC and a modified inductive CTD for seals developed by SMRU in UK) on bowhead whales in West Greenland.
• To deploy and evaluate the reliability and quality of CTD data collected in arctic ice covered waters by bowhead whales.