Whale Biology – A Window into Our Oceans
Whales are the largest creatures on the planet, yet, like so many other fish, birds, and seals, they depend on tiny animals at the bottom of the oceans’ food chain to survive – krill. Krill, in turn, are the most plentiful protein source on the planet, and their abundance is tied to ocean health at a primary level – a system that in fact echoes global ecosystem stability. In other words, an ocean full of krill is a biologically stable ocean, and that means our world is coping with natural and human initiated climate changes. The question is, how do we monitor this vital system?
Our goal at CWR is to understand the health of our oceans by monitoring and protecting the population health of the largest animals on the planet – the great whales. Conserving their critical habitats ensures that the ocean, and indeed the planet, remains in good health.
CWR began with a humpback whale population measuring program in the Dampier Archipelago in 1990, guided government in the establishment of a new marine park for their calving grounds discovered as part of this process, and then expanded our work to include blue whales in 1999. A marine park for a critical feeding ground for pygmy blue whales is now on the table.
Based on RV Whale Song, CWR’s scientists conduct research all around Australia and into the Southern Ocean.
Head Off-shore with CWR!
Read about the Latest CWR Projects and catch up-to-date CWR News stories, learn about relevant management decisions affecting cetaceans in Australia. Subscribe to Michs’ blog to read the latest Whale Tales and current CWR activities. Our new CWR face-book page has daily input about whale research and other marine science.
You can follow the history of our research techniques in CWR Vessel History from 1990, using a 5 m inflatable vessel Nova, to 1994, the building of a 12 m sailing catamaran WhaleSong, to 2005, the refit of a 24 m tuna long-liner renamed WhaleSong II, and to 2010 and our latest acquisition, Whale Song, a 28 m ice-class vessel capable of world-wide expeditions!