WhaleNet's Satellite Tagging Observation Program - STOP


Right Whale

WhaleNet coordinates the Satellite Tagging Observation Program - STOP. The goal is to enable students to participate, with scientists, in unique research using advanced technologies.

This unique program uses advanced satellite technology and telecommunications to monitor and research the actual migration patterns and movements of selected species of whales and marine animals. Students and educators work in conjunction with international research organizations such as the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts; the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland; the Mingan Island Cetacean Study in Longue Pointe de Mingan, Quebec; the Duke University Marine Lab, in Beaufort, North Carolina; the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, in Savannah, Georgia; and Allied Whale, College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Students and educators can access and use the data and information from these satellite tags through WhaleNet.

WhaleNet's contributing scientists include: Scott Kraus and Greg Early, at the New England Aquarium's Edgerton Research Lab, investigating the movements of rare North Atlantic Right Whales and Seals; Richard Sears, Executive Director of the Mingan Island Cetacean Study, who studies Blue Whales and Fin Whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Sea of Cortez; Andrew Westgate and Andy Read studying Harbour Porpoises at Duke University's Marine Lab; Alessandra Score, the Loggerhead Turtle researcher, at Gray's Reef Marine Sanctuary; and Judy Allen, Director of Allied Whale at the College of the Atlantic, originators of the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalogue.


WhaleNet makes available information from as many as 12 satellite tags each year. Already in the satellite tag archives are data from a Northern Right Whale named "Metompkin" that became entangled in fishing equipment off the coast of Georgia; two blue whales feeding in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; two hooded seals "Stephanie" and "Kiwi", on their migrations to polar waters; one elephant seal "Mac" diving off the California coast; three loggerhead turtles "Aerial", "Annie" and "Isabelle" swimming off the southeast U.S. near their nesting areas; and a number of harbor porpoises in the Bay of Fundy .

As WhaleNet progresses we hope to have more satellite tags on right whales, blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales, and sperm whales. We are also planning to tag more harbor and hooded seals, when released by the New England Aquarium and the New Jersey Marine Mammal Stranding Network.


Check STOPS's Data, Maps and Observations page regularly.

- the WhaleMaster

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