Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)carry nutrients, such as nitrogen, from the depths where they feed, back to the surface via their feces. This transfer allows for more phytoplankton to grow at the surface, which is the basis of the entire food web. However, whales are at risk due to climate change, ship collisions and ocean acidification. Additionally, ship engines and sound explosions interfere with their vocalisations and disorient them.
Original photo by Gabriel Barathieu
Our whale biotag
Current advances in biologging technology have enabled scientists to passively gather ocean data and shed more light on whale behaviours. Our proposed tag attaches to the whale but does more than just measuring data on noise, depth and position. With its integrated underwater speaker the tag can actively communicate with the whale and use sound to inform them about the positions of nearby ships.
How will it work?
Humpbacks are fishing under dangerous and noisy shipping lanes.
Sound from the tags alerts the whales away from ships.
Whales can now strategically transfer nutrients and create new habitats.