So many thanks to the volunteers who made the MERS minke whale audio visual study a success this year. In total, we had 54 days of concurrent audio and visual recordings and almost as many days that minke whales were observed using the area. In addition to those who helped with the study earlier this summer both Debra Hughes and Ivan Ng volunteered many hours recording whale observations during the last portion of our study period.
At the moment, the area is still alive with cetacean activity although, as suspected, the area is being used less frequently by minke whales and instead more so by humpback whales. Whether or not the humpbacks are actually displacing the minke whales we do not know, however, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of prey around as herring balls are a common sight lately. We at MERS are now shifting gears into studies of how humpback whales are utilizing this prey resource along with our other studies of humpback whales including entanglement rates and local population monitoring.
As I write the whole region is covered by a thick blanket of fog which should mean that by noon the sun will be starting to break through and the afternoon will be relatively warm, clear, and calm.