Sci­en­tists spot rare whale in Ber­ing Sea

Cape Breton Post - - World - BY DAN JOLING

Fed­eral re­searchers study­ing crit­i­cally en­dan­gered North Pa­cific right whales some­times go years with­out find­ing their sub­jects. Over the week­end they got lucky.

A re­search ves­sel in the Ber­ing Sea pho­tographed two of the an­i­mals Sun­day and ob­tained a biopsy sam­ple from one, the Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced Thurs­day. NOAA Fish­eries re­search bi­ol­o­gist Jes­sica Crance was on board the Yushin Maru 2 when the whales were spot­ted. The ship is part of the Pa­cific Ocean Whale and Ecosys­tem Re­search pro­gram, a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort headed by the In­ter­na­tional Whal­ing Com­mis­sion.

Us­ing an acous­tic recorder, and be­tween sounds of killer whales and wal­rus, Crance picked up faint calls of a right whale east of Bris­tol Bay, Alaska. The sounds came from an es­ti­mated 16 to 51 kilo­me­tres away and the ship headed west, she said in a blog en­try.

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