North Atlantic Right Whale Tagging Workshop
Co-hosted by the Marine Mammal Commission (MMC), NOAA Fisheries (NMFS), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
September 12-14, 2023
1.) review key knowledge gaps and data needs regarding the movements, life history, and ecology of North Atlantic right whales (NARWs);
2.) review the history of satellite telemetry and evaluate progress in tag attachment technologies and follow-up studies; and
3.) generate knowledge to inform planning and permitting decisions regarding potential tagging of NARWs
Day 1 consisted of an open session with presentations to the assembled experts and virtual attendees on research needs for NARWs, the history of telemetry tag development and use for large whales, the permitting environment in the U.S. and Canada, and tagging best practices.
Days 2 and 3 were closed sessions where invited experts engaged in-depth on key information that can be gained from tagging, the evolution of tag technology and design, follow-up studies to examine the effects of tagging on baleen whales, and the utility of different tag types with respect to identified research questions. Invited experts also considered potential future NARW tagging and follow-up monitoring to address important data deficiencies.
Day 1 Recordings
Day 1 Agenda
Welcome and introduction – Frances Gulland (MMC) and Mike Weise (ONR)
Introductory talk: Telemetry data and the conservation and management of NARWs – Greg Donovan (International Whale Commission, retired)
Facilitated panel discussion on gaps in knowledge of NARW ecology and movements pertinent to management needs, with emphasis on information that could be provided by telemetry data – Véronique Lesage (DFO), Colleen Coogan (NMFS-Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office), Clay George (NMFS-Southeast Regional Office), Sean Hayes (NMFS-Northeast Fisheries Science Center), Amy Knowlton (New England Aquarium), Erin Meyer-Gutbrod (University of South Carolina)
Permitting environment: Government officials will summarize the U.S. and Canadian regulatory context when contemplating tagging endangered large whales – Amy Sloan (NMFS-Office of Protected Resources), Laurence Denault-Tremblay (DFO)
Brief overview of best practice guidelines for cetacean tagging – Mike Weise (ONR)
History of NARW tagging – Dave Weller (NMFS-Southwest Fisheries Science Center)
Review of types of tags used to date on baleen whales: Experts in tagging and tag development will provide an overview of different telemetry tag types and on which species they have been deployed, deployment durations, anchor design, target locations on animals, any known and/or suspected effects based on follow-up studies, data to be gathered from the tags, and overall challenges and opportunities
- Suction cup – Alex Shorter (University of Michigan) and Susan Parks (Syracuse University)
- Type A Anchored – Russ Andrews (MarEcoTel) and John Calambokidis (Cascadia Research)
- Type C Consolidated – Alex Zerbini (Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies-University of Washington) and Daniel Palacios (Oregon State University)
Discussion and Q&A session – Peter Thomas (MMC)
Wrap-up public session – Adèle Labbé (DFO)
Additional presentations and meeting recordings will be added as they become available. Please contact the presenters for permission to use any images or data from their slides. Note: embedded videos and animations have been disabled.
A summary of the tagging workshop was presented by Kim Damon-Randall (NMFS) at the 2023 North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
For more information, contact Brady O’Donnell (email@example.com)
Report of the Large Whale Tagging Workshop (Weller 2008)
Report of the Joint ONR IWC NOAA Workshop on Cetacean Tag Development, Tag Follow-up and Tagging Best Practices (ONR/NOAA/IWC 2020) and Workshop Proceedings (ONR 2009)
Best practice guidelines for cetacean tagging (Andrews et al. 2019)