National Marine Mammal Laboratory 2002-2003 Beluga Tagging Study
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National Marine Mammal Laboratory 2002-2003 Beluga Tagging Study

  • 2002

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    A tagging project was conducted from July 29 through August 4, 2002, as part of a multi-year study of fall, winter, and spring movements of beluga whales in Cook Inlet. This project, a cooperative effort among the National Marine Mammal Laboratory and the Alaska Regional Office (both of NMFS) and the Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council, an organization of native hunters , attached satellite tags to eight beluga whales in 2002. The capture involved a 1000-ft. net used to encircle and entangle a beluga whale. The captured whale was then removed from the net and placed in a sling between two rigid-hull inflatable boats. With the whale secure, a tag was surgically attached to the beluga's back. While holding the whale, its length was measured, tissue and blood samples were collected, and sex was determined (see Table 1, below). The whale was then released, usually within an hour and twenty minutes of capture.
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