Carbon Fiber Used to Tag Whales

Patrick Halpin is an ecologist who studies whales. Below is a video where he takes us on a short adventure, of him and some others out tagging whales in Antarctica  in order to study the whales behavior and feeding habits under the ice. Using carbon fiber poles, they attach the tag’s with suction cups. Halpin insists this causes no pain as they’re simply suction cups that fall off within a day or two.

“The whale populations are coming back, but they were severely depleted, and so there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure we can stabilize those populations. One of the big concerns in the future is as we have climate change, the ice edge is going to be retreating and we really don’t understand how that’s affecting the marine populations. Our main goal is to have baseline data, and to be able to understand how do these animals, these great whales, actually use the resources here. In Antarctica, we were primarily tagging humpback whales. So what we are interested in is to actually see how the whales use krill or other prey underwater, how deep they are diving, what kind of behavior they have.”