On 22 October 2019, Cascadia deployed a modified Acousonde acoustic tag on a fin whale off Catalina Island. This was part of a collaborative project being conducted with a number of groups including Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Southall Environmental Associates and supported by Living Marine Resources and the Office of Naval Research. The tag was attached with short darts and stayed on for about 5 days as the whale swam in a large circuit around the Southern California Bight. The map shows the high quality locations that were obtained by a Fastloc GPS unit on the tag showing it spent time both around Carlsbad Canyon, off Dana Point, and off the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
The tag came off between Santa Monica Bay and Anacapa Island which is where we retrieved it. The tag will provide important new data on fin whale movements, diving behavior (see below),
calling vocalizations, and exposure to ship noise and Navy sonar. The whale spent time in, and around very busy shipping routes and fin whales are known to be particularly vulnerable to ship strikes. This information will be important in helping to evaluate these impacts and hopefully better protect whales in this region. Please contact John Calambokidis (calambokidis@CascadiaResearch.org) if you have any question or concerns about this. We would also love to hear if you sighted or took photographs of this whale while the tag was on since we would like to match that up with our tag data and are particularly interested if the whale stayed paired with a 2nd whale it was seen with when it was tagged.