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Gray whale

UN adopts High Seas Treaty to protect the ocean

At the UN 'High Seas Treaty' negotiations in New York, a historic vote for the...

Hopes raised for whale and dolphin protection after last minute landmark nature agreement

WDC's Ed Goodall (far right) at COP15 with Thérèse Coffey (centre) UK Secretary of State...

WDC orca champion picks up award

Beatrice Whishart MSP picks up her Nature Champion award The Scottish Environment LINK, an organisation...

Large number of dolphins moved to Abu Dhabi marine park

Up to 24 captive bottlenose dolphins have reportedly been sent to a new SeaWorld theme...

New technology to aid right whale research

Scientists from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and other researchers are using the latest advancements in technology this summer to track one of the world’s most endangered whales – the North Atlantic right whale.

Hunted close to extinction, 80 years of protection have only seen the whale population slowly recover to around 500. Collisions with shipping and entanglement in fishing gear are major threats to the whales today, making it vital that we know which areas of the ocean are key habitats for them.

North Atlantic right whales breed and give birth in warmer waters off Florida and Georgia before migrating north during the summer to Cape Cod bay and the Bay of Fundy. The whales are also known to spend time in the Roseway Basin, an area of sea off the south coast of Nova Scotia but little is known about where else they visit.

To help keep track of the whales movements, the University is deploying a number of autonomous underwater gliders accompanied by air support and acoustic devices that will allow them to listen in and watch for the whales as they move around. The two-month survey will hopefully provide vital information on what the whales get up to during the summer.

Underwater research glider

The gliders are equipped with acoustic technology that can identify what whales they are hearing and then send a message to the researchers, providing almost instant information.