Research Technical Report
Large Whale Foraging in the Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries
Newton, K., J. Calambokidis, J. Harvey, and D. Croll (March 2005)
Poster presentation at the 2005 Sanctuary Currents Symposium, Seaside, CA
The Center for Integrated Marine Technologies (CIMT) conducted whale tagging cruises in the Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries during September 2003, and July and September 2004. The goal of the tagging effort is to establish the relationship between remote and directly sensed physical and biological oceanographic processes and the distribution and movement of large whales. In the short-term, it will provide us with an understanding of the location and dynamics of large whale foraging habitat; ultimately, it will provide a basis from which to predict the effects of the climate variability on the dynamics of large whale distribution and abundance patterns - a key goal of resource managers. We deployed archival dive recorders on a total of 10 blue whales in 2003, and 3 blue whales and 6 humpback whales in 2004. Four of these deployments occurred concurrently with the collection of 30 hydroacoustic data in 2003 and 5 in 2004. Prey species were sampled hydroacoustically as well as via fishing and targeted zooplankton net tows. In the future we plan to expand our archival tagging efforts to further elucidate the relationship between oceanographic patterns, prey patches, and whale diving behavior.