Marine Mammal Research in Antarctica – One Ocean Expeditions & California Ocean Alliance

Marine Mammal Research in Antarctica – One Ocean Expeditions & California Ocean Alliance

20 February 2018, London – Collaboration between leading Polar Expedition Cruise Specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) and California Ocean Alliance (Nationally Accredited World Class Ocean Research) has led to the first successful suction cup video tagging of a minke whale in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica. Known for their elusive behavior and short surfacing times, minkes are a challenge to tag with suction cup technology and have previously only been tracked by LIMPET satellite location beacons, embedded in the superficial layer of surface skin.

Dr. Ari Friedlaender, director within California Ocean Alliance and resident whale biologist with One Ocean Expeditions, has been delivering educational programs onboard select OOE expeditions since 2012. “These shared values between One Ocean Expeditions and our research group at the California Ocean Alliance make for a potent and effective collaboration” says Ari. “Without this singular focus, we could not succeed, we could not learn, and we could not protect places like the Antarctic”.

“This work is part of a long-term ecological research study to better understand the divergent impacts of climate change on the ice-dependent minke whales and more open-water humpback whales in this part of the Antarctic,” says Elanor Bell, Australian whale research scientist from the Australian Antarctic Division.

“We have been working diligently over the last decade to expand opportunities for nationally accredited research onboard”, says Catherine Lawton OOE’s General Manager. “We take great pride in our team of professionals and our fleet of hand selected ice-class vessels, on which we offer the ideal platform to deliver exceptional client experiences, funding and opportunities for scientists to collect critical data.”

Ari’s team were able to attach non-invasive suction cup camera tags with 3D motion sensors, provided by WWF-Australia, to the minke whales. These tags fell off approximately 24-48 hours later. Upon retrieving the devices, the researchers were able to study the recordings, which showed the feeding behaviour of the minke whales, including lunge feeding and the expansion of throat pleats. The analysis of the data captured will allow the researchers to develop measures to protect fragile polar ecosystem and natural whale habitat worldwide.

One Ocean Expeditions is committed to funding and supporting ongoing, nationally accredited science and outreach programs. A leader in polar expedition cruising, One Ocean Expeditions operates voyages to the most remote areas of the world, from the High Arctic to Antarctica. Guests have the opportunity to get to know the scientists and to be educated on cutting-edge research initiatives – an important part of the One Ocean Expeditions experience.

For more information on the tagging of the minke whale visit our blog:

For more information on One Ocean Expeditions’ Marine Mammals trip visit:

For more information on One Ocean Expeditions visit:

For images visit:

Media Inquiries  Debra Taylor. E:  M. +447956 852197 

About One Ocean Expeditions: One Ocean Expeditions is a proudly Canadian world leader in polar exploration. Committed to environmental and social responsibility, One Ocean Expeditions offers passengers personalized polar marine experiences in the most beautiful places on Earth. With a range of innovative expedition cruise itineraries in Antarctica, Arctic and Canada’s East Coast, Greenland, and Norway, One Ocean Expeditions has earned a reputation for exceptional quality, customer service, industry-leading safety standards, and unparalleled value. One Ocean Expeditions is a unique partner to our Polar Regions, committed to supporting environmental awareness and education, world-class scientific research in sensitive ecosystems, historical preservation, and the sustainment of local communities. One Ocean Expeditions maintains ongoing affiliations with an array of scientific and educational institutions, and is proud to serve as the exclusive marine travel partner of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

About the Author

Founding director of toucanmoon, Debra has many years’ experience in the travel industry and has held director-level positions in several high-profile international companies.

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