How do they track whales

From: Howard Garrett (
Date: Sat Feb 19 2000 - 23:34:57 EST

...So i'm asking you if you
could send me information in the mail on my subject, as much as possible if
you can. My subject i picked was How do they track whales or marine life and
how they get the signaling divices on the marine mammal. PLease I need help
on this project,Thank you!!!!!!
            Could you send me as much information as you can,
 like video's, posters,books, etc... (or other addresses that i can
write too)

Dear Eric,

        You have chosen a very interesting question. I know about tracking devices
only indirectly, and for your project it seems you might want to get in
touch with someone with more experience using or designing telemetry
tracking devices.

        Whales have been tracked for several months using such devices. They may
be attached to the animals by a suction cup, for short periods, or by hooks
into the skin, or by bolts attached through a fin. Harnesses have also been
used to carry telemetry devices.

        The difficulty is in miniaturizing the device, because the heavier it is
the less chance it will remain on the animal, but for long battery life
heavy batteries are needed. The best designs transmit only at the surface,
thus conserving battery life. Optimally a tracking device should transmit
in both VHF and microwave for satelite relay. The placement and design of
the device need to maximize hydrodynamic flow, i.e., reduce drag as much as
possible. I hope that helps.

        Your best bet for materials may be to do a web search for key words like
"telemetry", and print informative pages. PS: Keiko, the orca star of Free
Willy, may be outfitted with such a device if he is allowed into the open

Howard Garrett
Tokitae Orca Conservation Foundation
2403 So. North Bluff Rd.
Greenbank WA 98253
(360) 678-3451

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