[MARMAM] A new low cost digital tag for whales

Daniel Perez Martinez daniel.reporte at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 07:00:51 PDT 2009

To whom it may concern,

We have developed a low cost tag (under U$ 4000)  to study the southern
right whale behavior in Peninsula Valdés, Argentina.  The unit (computer and
sensors not connected ) was successfully attached to 23 whales during
November and December 2008. We have just started to testing  a number of
sensors connected to a micro  computer (open source Linux software). The
device (400 gr weight) has three silicone suction cup , which are released
by a radio triggered device (up to 2 miles). The prototype has an internal
hydrophone plus an external mono audio plug, a 12 bit digital camera (vga
quality, IR capable), a 3D inertial movement unit (3 axes of acceleration
input +  3 axes of gyroscopic input + 3 axes of magnetic input), two analog
connectors for external sensors (pressure, hearth rate),  8Gbs micro SD
memory, Bluetooth data offload, and a high sensitivity GPS-enabled tag
tracking system (to recovery the unit post released up to 5 miles). The
complete system work with a custom PDA from where can be download all the
tag data, track the device and activate the radio valves to release suction

 We will use this unit in several research projects, including underwater
noise disturbance in Peninsula Valdes Gulfs, behavioral responses of whales
to kelp gull attacks, response of whales to a whale watching boats, and
playback and response experiments to prevent potential risk on ship strike
incidents, beginning August 2009. Because we work in shallow waters (up to
100 meters depth) we did not test the tag in a high pressure environment.
Even the device was developed to work with right whales, we  are pleased to
share the device and our first experience with cetaceans research teams who
want to use  our tag with other species (2010 season).


Kind Regards and please could you be so kind to respond directly to our
E-mail address,



Daniel Pérez Martínez

Independent consultant

 <mailto:Daniel.reporte at gmail.com> Daniel.reporte at gmail.com 

Domec García Norte 1142

(9120) Puerto Madryn (Chubut) Argentina


Dr. Marcelo Bertellotti

Biología y Manejo de Recursos Acuáticos

Centro Nacional Patagónico (CONICET)

bertello at cenpat.edu.ar

Boulevard Brown 2825

(9120) Puerto Madryn (Chubut) Argentina



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