Cetaceans on the Frontier IV Survey...Update
15th Jan 2013
Update: Saturday 2 February
Check out the latest from the Cetaceans on the Frontier 4 survey on our blog: www.cotf4.blogspot.ie
. During a brief respite in the weather, today we recorded several sperm whales, a lone killer whale, pilot whales, bottlenose dolphin and common dolphins. This brings to 7 the number of cetaceans recorded so far on the cruise. Unusually, the sperm whales were seen and photographed within sight of land as the mountain-tops of Achill were visible in the distance, some 50 or 60 nautical miles away! We are currently holding station in the Rockall Trough to the west of Co. Mayo, collecting plankton samples and oceanogrpahic data (CTD casts). We will head for Galway tonight and hope to be alongside at about 9pm on Sunday, bringing our fourth dedicated research cruise to a conclusion. A cruise report will be available for IWDG members to read in the coming weeks. Thanks once again to our funders (Marine Institute), collaborators (GMIT, BirdWatch Ireland, Queens University Belfast, University of La Rochelle, University College Cork, National Oceanographic Centre Southampton) and the dedicated and professional crew of the R.V. Celtic Explorer. Looking forward to COTF 5!
On 21 January 2013, the RV Celtic Explorer will depart from Galway with 18 scientists and crew on the fourth dedicated cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) research cruise since 2008.
‘Cetaceans on the Frontier’ has become an annual research cruise, lead jointly by the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) which aims to record abundances and distribution of cetaceans along the continental shelf edge. This region is an important habitat for cetaceans as they feed there due to rich food resources available from increased productivity caused by upwelling when nutrients are brought to the surface from the depths. This project aims to identify particular areas of importance for these and other species such as seabirds. This year we are focusing on the bottlenose dolphin.
The Cetaceans on the Frontier IV survey is supported under the Marine Institutes' competitive ship-time scheme, funded through the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan 2007-2013, as part of the Sea Change strategy.