[MARMAM] New Publication: Behavior and energetics in an entangled whale

Julie van der Hoop jvanderhoop at whoi.edu
Mon May 27 04:20:38 PDT 2013

MARMAM Subscribers, 

We are pleased to announce the following paper, published online this week in Marine Mammal Science:

van der Hoop, J., Moore, M., Fahlman, A., Bocconcelli, A., George, C., Jackson, K., Miller, C., Morin, D., Pitchford, T., Rowles, T., Smith, J. and Zoodsma, B. (2013), Behavioral impacts of disentanglement of a right whale under sedation and the energetic cost of entanglement. Marine Mammal Science. doi: 10.1111/mms.12042

Abstract: Protracted entanglement in fishing gear often leads to emaciation through reduced mobility and foraging ability, and energy budget depletion from the added drag of towing gear for months or years. We examined changes in kinematics of a tagged entangled North Atlantic right whale (Eg 3911), before, during, and after disentanglement on 15 January 2011. To calculate the additional drag forces and energetic demand associated with various gear configurations, we towed three sets of gear attached to a load-cell tensiometer at multiple speeds. Tag analyses revealed significant increases in dive depth and duration; ascent, descent and fluke stroke rates; and decreases in root mean square fluke amplitude (a proxy for thrust) following disentanglement. Conservative drag coefficients while entangled in all gear configurations (mean ± SD Cd,e,go = 3.4 × 10−3 ± 0.0003, Cd,e,gb = 3.7 × 10−3 ± 0.0003, Cd,e,sl = 3.8 × 10−3 ± 0.0004) were significantly greater than in the nonentangled case (Cd,n = 3.2 × 10−3 ± 0.0003; P = 0.0156, 0.0312, 0.0078, respectively). Increases in total power input (including standard metabolism) over the nonentangled condition ranged from 1.6% to 120.9% for all gear configurations tested; locomotory power requirements increased 60.0%–164.6%. These results highlight significant alteration to swimming patterns, and the magnitude of energy depletion in a chronically entangled whale.

The article can be downloaded from  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mms.12042/full

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, or to request an electronic copy of the article. 

Julie van der Hoop
Graduate Student
MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography
Woods Hole MA 02543
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