Posts Tagged ‘whales’

Volunteers trained to respond to whale entanglements

When whales get entangled in fishing gear or other marine debris, it’s a potentially life-threatening event that takes a group of trained specialists to provide help. And with whale entanglements on the rise worldwide, it’s becoming an ever-more pressing need. Last month, Alaska Sea Grant teamed up with Ed Lyman of the National Oceanic and…

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Unalaska uses teamwork and technology to save whales

aerial view of men in raft using pole to cut line from entangled whale

Humpback whale sightings are becoming increasingly common in Unalaska, and so are whale entanglements. In late October 2018, Alaska Sea Grant’s Melissa Good helped coordinate efforts to successfully free a humpback that had been caught in commercial fishing gear. Good is the regional lead responder for the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Network. She said…

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Beluga whale research captures spotlight

ship on water at sunset

Kim Ovitz’s research on beluga whales on the Kenai Peninsula has received international attention recently. Through her Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship, Ovitz has been observing beluga whales at the mouth and lower reaches of the Kenai River. Aside from monitoring, Ovitz has also been using qualitative research methods to document local knowledge of marine…

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UAF student studies whale watching impacts on humpbacks

Whale watching is a booming business in Alaska’s state capital. Over the past nearly 20 years, the number of whale watching boats in the waters around Juneau has roughly doubled. The business is valued at about $35 million annually, according to the McDowell Group, and its rise parallels that of the cruise ship industry, whose…

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Whale entanglement responders trained in Petersburg

Whale entanglements in fishing gear are infrequent near Petersburg but when they happen the Petersburg Marine Mammal Center needs trained people to respond. On June 30, NOAA’s Ed Lyman helped build the response team by training nine people in large whale disentanglement response methods.

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Fast-food opportunity appeals to humpback whales

A whale mouth near net pens - NOAA permit #14122

Sitka, Alaska—Four humpback whales in Southeast Alaska have discovered their own fast-food restaurant. The whales have been eating juvenile chum and coho salmon at hatchery release sites in Chatham Strait, near Sitka. While the hatchery fish are likely a negligible portion of humpback whale diets overall in Southeast Alaska, this feeding habit could be an…

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