tracking fin whales in the mediterranean sea

(c) Tethys Research Institute

Are Mediterranean fin whales migrating in winter like other whales do in the oceans, or do they behave differently, given the fact that they belong to a substantially isolated population in an environment that differs to that of oceanic ones? Tethys’ researchers hope to answer the question in the next few weeks.

For the first time Tethys has been able to deploy satellite transmitters on several fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the Pelagos Cetacean Sanctuary. The project aims to enable the identification of areas in need of special protection: to assess breeding grounds is an important goal for the conservation of the population. Moreover potential migratory routes may be added to maritime traffic information, because collisions with vessels represent a serious threat for fin whales in particular.

Seven individuals have been equipped with a special transmitter each, enabling them to regularly bestow their position through the Argos Satellite system, based on 6 orbiting satellites.

The whale’s itinerary may be followed on a dedicated page upon registration. The maps tracing the various movements will be updated weekly.

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