WhaleNet Reports
Hooded Seal

Harbor Seal

Satellite Tagging Observation Reports

Greg Early
Edgerton Research Laboratory
New England Aquarium

Name- "Bubba"
Seal Tag

4/27/00 - More data from "Bubba". He has not moved a great deal since yesterday, however he has sent some higher quality locations. On some passes the satellite has received six or seven signals from the tag. This may be partly due to the better satellite coverage as "Bubba" moves north. Often this many signals from one pass might mean that he has hauled out. Now, however he is over one hundred miles from the nearest land. Although, there can be ice in this region, it appears that there is no solid or floating ice near this location, so it does not appear that he is hauling out. If you want to see where the ice is around this location, check the following web site for the latest maps of fast (solid) and floating ice.....http://www.natice.noaa.gov/

4/26/00 - Yes "Bubba" is still sending data. Since we last left him he has continued to move slowly north stopping for a twenty four hour stay on Sable island. His present location is roughly 75 miles north and east of the island (about 130 miles east of the Gulf of St. Lawrence). He appears to be making short straight runs followed by short periods of circling.

4/17/00 - More strangeness from "Bubba". Over the weekend (Friday and Saturday) we received no new messages from "Bubba's" tag. This seemed to be a problem with either the tag or the satellite system as it appeared the "Bubba" was far out to sea and not near any land to haul out on. In fact "Bubba" had found land and appears to have hauled out (again for roughly one day). This time he appears to have hauled out on Sable Island (roughly 120 miles east of Nova Scotia). This is quite odd behavior as judged by other hooded seals we have tracked. It appears that he was hauled out long enough to again shut the tag down over the weekend. On Sunday, and today (Monday) we again began receiving signals from the tag, showing that "Bubba" had left the island and has headed slightly east and north again. It is possible that he will again head back to the island, or he may continue north. We shall see.

4/12/00 - A lot of data here as I have not been able to pick up messages for the past week. "Bubba" has been on the move, however. As of the first few days of April he had left the Gulf of Maine and headed up along the east coast of Nova Scotia. On sunday the 2nd he stopped on shore for nearly one day, where he was spotted on the beach. The folks who saw him got a close enough look to read the phone number to call to report the tag (this is tiny print). After the day on shore , it appears that he moved away from the coast (east and north). His present position puts him roughly 30 miles west of Sable Island (the island is roughly 100 miles off of the coast of Nova Scotia). His last locations appear to have him heading in the general direction of the island, however we will see what the next few days bring. At this rate of travel he could reach the Gulf of St. Lawrence roughly around the time that hooded seals are known to gather there.

A map of "Bubba's" travels, so far. The fellow that saw him is Clayton Swansburg (cswansburg@klis.com), who said the seal looked fat and round, but he was concerned because he was so approachable (he had to get pretty close to read the fine print). Otherwise, he seemed to think he looked OK. He was probably on shore close to 24 hours. Unfortunately no photos.

4/11/00 - Bubba is still out there, it appears that he is well off the coast of Nova Scotia right now, but I did get a voice mail from some fellow that found him on shore in south east nova scotia last sunday. I have not had the time to pull together all of the locations from the last week, but looks like it will continue to be a strange tale.


Reports:February / Reports:March

Bubba 1
  • "Bubba" Satellite Chart A
    Closer view of release.
  • Bubba and..
    (Click on an image to enlarge)

    More seal data is available in the current WhaleNet Listserv. Sort and go to FIND for "Seal Data", "Bubba" entries.
    Map of "Bubba's" travels.

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