Blue Whales research project in Skjálfandi Bay
For the last two weeks there was a research team in Skjálfandi Bay, exploring our frequent visitors in the bay, the Blue Whales.
A team of scientists have started a new project of tagging Blue Whales to learn about the feeding behaviour of this largest animal of the world. The most interesting question is „How many times do they eat?“ „How many species of prey do they eat?“ and „How much do they eat per hour resp. per day?“. Answers will be found by measuring accoustic signals that the whales utter when eating.
Dr. Marianne H. Rasmusson from the University of Iceland, Research Center Húsavík, had teamed up with Dr. Tom Akamatsu, Head of Bioacoustics Group of the Information Science Division of NRIFE (National Research Institute of Fisheries Engineering) in Japan.
Close cooperation with North Sailing was very helpful for the research team to locate the whales in the bay, and our captains and guides were happy to assist.
Skjalfándi Bay is considered to be the best place on earth for research on Blue Whales, because this species finds perfect feeding conditions here. We know their main prey is krill and plankton.
The first tag was set on 2nd of june and data could be collected over 8 hours and then 13 hours. This is a promising start for the research, which will be continued until next year at least.
More information on the accoustic tagging process in general and on the Blue Whales project can be found on Tom Akamatsu’s website. More information can also soon be found on the Research Center Húsavík website.
Here are some photos from the Blue Whale tagging project in Skjálfandi Bay, taken by Sabrina Brando, a North Sailing guide, assisting the scientists-team.