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More than a dozen beluga whales within the Beaufort Sea have been tagged with monitoring units — and their actions might be adopted on Facebook.

This is the primary time belugas within the Beaufort Sea have been tagged since 2005. The monitoring venture is a joint effort between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the Fisheries Joint Management Committee and the Inuvialuit Game Council.

We are literally seeing slightly dot for each time a transmission goes from a floor whale to the satellite tv for pc.– Shannon MacPhee, biologist

“It’s really community driven,” stated Shannon MacPhee, a biologist with the DFO. “The research questions came out of a big community engagement event that we had called the Beluga Summit back in February 2016.”

She says coastal communities initially wished belugas to be tagged to higher perceive the place they transfer and why they have been going to sure locations.

McPhee stated tagging the beluga whales takes teamwork. The group is seen right here close to Hendrickson Island, which is positioned northwest of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. (Submitted by Shannon MacPhee)

MacPhee stated there was a workforce of round 20 individuals who have been out on the camp on Hendrickson Island, the place folks in Tuktoyaktuk historically harvest their whales.

“What was really interesting for me to see was that it takes a large amount of people to tag a beluga whale,” she stated.

The program began on July 3. By July 13, 14 whales had been tagged.

In whole, three various kinds of tags have been used together with a standard “backpack” type tag, that collects detailed location info in addition to the dive profile of the whales.

“What was new this year about those tags is that they not only use satellite telemetry but they’ll give us the GPS co-ordinates of the whale, so we are getting very detailed information on [their] positions,” stated MacPhee.

Public invited to trace whales on Facebook

For those that are excited by monitoring the motion of the beluga whales, they will be a part of the Beaufort Sea Beluga Facebook group.

MacPhee says the concept behind the Facebook group is for the general public to really feel like they’re a part of the method.

As of July 27, nearly 200 folks had joined the group. They are ready to take a look at maps posted by the researchers exhibiting latest beluga migration routes.

“What we are looking at is a map on Google Earth and we are receiving the raw location data from the satellite, and we are actually seeing a little dot for every time a transmission goes from a surface whale to the satellite,” stated MacPhee.

Most of the tags will final via the autumn however some will final all through the winter, to allow them to get a greater understanding of the place a number of the belugas journey within the spring.

Strange travels

Recently, about 50 belugas got here down the Schooner Channel close to Aklavik, an irregular route for therefore many to take.

John Noksana Jr., vice-chair for the Fisheries Joint Management Committee, says this tagging will give them a greater understanding of what these whales are doing.

John Noksana Jr., vice-chair for the Fisheries Joint Management Committee, stated he hopes the brand new tagging and monitoring program will assist shield beluga whales. (Submitted by John Noksana Jr.)

“I mean we can protect them from industry, tourism and shipping … just to make sure they are taken care of,” stated Noksana.

He says whaling is important to each neighborhood within the area.

He hopes that with the info they get, they will create exclusion areas or pace limits for ships specifically locations that the belugas frequent.

Next yr, there will likely be one other spherical of tagging.

Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-07-30 09:00:00, as ‘Beaufort Sea beluga whales tagged, able to be tracked on Facebook

‘ on CBC RADIO-CANADA. Here is a supply hyperlink for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

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