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Cetacean Research at the NEFSC


Some of the research at the Protected Species Branch is focused on the North Atlantic right whale.  This research involves the North Atlantic Right Whale Aerial Sighting Surveys, the Sighting Advisory Program, and shipboard studies that investigate the whales' habitat preferences and feeding ecology as well as doing photographic and genetic identification.  Information learned from these research projects can be used in management actions that protect the North Atlantic right whale and reduce their human-related mortalities.


Bigelow observers A visual observer team on the R/V Bigelow

right whale and the Delaware IIR/V Delaware II and a right whale

Some members of the PSB team focus research on the status of cetaceans found in the North Atlantic. This research involves determining the species' distribution and abundance, estimating their levels of bycatch in commercial fisheries, and describing their seasonal habitats.

acoustics researcher at workDr. Sofie Van Parijs listens for whales





Other research is focused on the acoustic environment of North Atlantic cetaceans.  This research involves increasing our understanding of the basic acoustic behavior of cetaceans and fish, mapping the acoustic environment, such as that done in the Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary Ocean Noise project, and developing improved methods to locate cetaceans using autonomous gliders and passive acoustic arrays.


Play the humpback whale sound above. Hear more sounds.

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