[MARMAM] New Publication: Depredating sperm whales in the Gulf of Alaska: local habitat use and long distance movements across putative population boundaries

Jan Straley jmstraley at uas.alaska.edu
Sun May 11 23:57:22 PDT 2014


Dear Marmam friends,



My coauthors and I are pleased to announce the online publication of our
recent investigations of sperm whales in Alaskan waters in Endangered
Species Research.



Straley JM, Schorr GS, Thode AM, Calambokidis J, Lunsford CR, Chenoweth EM,
O’Connell VM, Andrews RD (2014) Depredating sperm whales in the Gulf of
Alaska: local habitat use and long distance movements across putative
population boundaries. Endang Species Res. Vol.
24:125-135<http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/esr/v24/n2/p125-135/>




ABSTRACT: Satellite tags were attached to 10 sperm whales *Physeter
macrocephalus* (1 whale was tagged in 2 different years) to determine the
movements of sperm whales involved in removal of sablefish from longline
fishing gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Tags transmitted from 3 to 34 d
(median = 22) in 2007 and 7 to 158 d (median = 45) in 2009. Seven whales
stayed in the GOA; all were associating with fishing vessels along the
slope. Two whales headed south in June shortly after being tagged; one
reached the inner third of the Sea of Cortez; the other’s last location was
offshore Mexico at 14°N. A third whale stayed in the GOA until October and
then headed south, reaching central Baja, Mexico, 158 d after tagging. The
whales that travelled to lower latitudes followed no pattern in timing of
departure, and at least 2 had different destinations. All whales passed
through the California Current without stopping and did not travel to
Hawaii; both are areas with known concentrations of sperm whales. Whales
travelled faster when south of 56°N than when foraging in the GOA (median
rate of median horizontal movement = 5.4 [range:4.1 to 5.5] and 1.3
[range:0.6 to 2.5] km h-1, respectively). Tagged sperm whales primarily
travelled over the slope, but one spent considerable time over the ocean
basin. Information on the timing and movement patterns of sperm whales may
provide a means for fishermen to avoid fishing at whale hot spots,
potentially reducing interactions between whales and fishermen





A PDF of the paper is available through the ESR open access policy by
copying this link into your browser
http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/esr/v24/n2/p125-135/ .  Or contact the

corresponding author: jmstraley at uas.alaska.edu



Regards





Jan Straley

University of Alaska Southeast

Sitka Campus
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