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Video: "The Taggers: Part 1"
By Jason Heller, December 12, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)

by Rick Morris

When thinking about the oceans nearly everyone thinks of whales…Their incredible presence and mythological stature are legendary and the success of whale watching tours supports this premise.  When watching, let alone swimming or diving with these amazing creatures all a person can do is wonder, “What are they thinking” or “I can’t believe how incredible their eyes are”.


I have often seen whales and heard them while on dive trips and on expeditions but last July I actually got the chance to work with them off the coast of Scituate Massachusetts while filming a tagging expedition run by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Several of the scientists that work with the Census of Marine Life, my employer, were conducting studies of whale behaviors and the effects of their surrounding environment on their behavior.  To do this non-invasive data tags were placed on humpback whales as they cruised the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary on their yearly migration to the cold northern Atlantic environments.

 

In addition, the researchers were also testing new 3d modeling software that took the data from the tags and created animations of the whale’s behavior above and underwater.  This is truly mind-blowing technology and I am honored to give viewers an inside look at this science and the personalities behind it….  Enjoy and dive safe,  RM

 

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