Aerial telephoto of Blue Whale surfacing between bits of sea ice in the marginal ice zone in January 2015; these animals are probably too large to move around in more dense sea ice.

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Blue Whales sightings documented

Gepubliceerd op
5 juni 2015

Observations of whales during the Antarctic expedition this year, have now been documented in full detail in a paper for the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission IWC.

Our Antarctic expedition blog of 20 january 2015 Researchers spotted whales during their way back north”, reported remarkable sightings of Blue Whales. Overall 26 of these giants were seen in a relatively small area north of the sea ice edge. These observations have now been documented in full detail in a paper for the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission IWC.

Proper documentation of such sightings is of importance to trace the recovery of this species which was once hunted close to extinction, and to provide information for potential dedicated conservation measures.

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The IWC paper distinguishes observations from different platforms. Systematic observations from Polarstern were made from (not occupied at time of photo)  Platform 1= the crows nest, and Platform 3= the wooden observation boxes along the front railing on the Monkey deck
The IWC paper distinguishes observations from different platforms. Systematic observations from Polarstern were made from (not occupied at time of photo) Platform 1= the crows nest, and Platform 3= the wooden observation boxes along the front railing on the Monkey deck
Blue Whale seen from the ship with the far backward small dorsal fin, 16 Jan 2015 , with sea ice edge in distance
Blue Whale seen from the ship with the far backward small dorsal fin, 16 Jan 2015 , with sea ice edge in distance

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