Productivity and behavior of bowheads, Balaena mysticetus, and white whales, Delphinapterus leucasas, as determined from remote sensing. Article

cited authors

  • Ray, GC; Wartzok, D; Taylor, G

fiu authors


  • During the NASA-supported Bering Sea Marine Mammal Experiment, remote sensing methods proved effective in gathering data on marine mammals. We documented an expanded distribution for white whales by observations and photographs of significant numbers of polynyas of the summer ice front in the Beaufort and eastern Chukchi Seas and obtained an estimate of 8-13.6% gross productivity, based on a sample of 88 individuals that were measurable from photographs. For bowheads, the same technique revealed a ratio of calves (3) to adults (16) of 19%. Swimming speeds, measured from sequential photographs that contained stationary objects, were from 2 km/hr for white whales with calves to 7 km/hr for an individual in a travelling group. Bowheads swam at speeds ranging from 5 km/hr while feeding to 11 km/hr while travelling. We also tested accuracy, precision, and sightability. -from Authors

publication date

  • January 1, 1984

start page

  • 199

end page

  • 209