Diving behavior of Southern Right Whales (Eubalaena australis) in a maritime traffic area in Patagonia, Argentina
MARÍA BELÉN ARGÜELLES; ANA FAZIO; CARLA FIORITO; DANIEL PÉREZ-MARTÍNEZ; MARIANO COSCARELLA; MARCELO BERTELLOTTI
Document & Publication Services at Western Illinois University
Año: 2016 vol. 42 p. 104 - 108
Southern right whales migrate annually from periantarctic foraging areas to mating and breeding areas in coastal waters. Península Valdés is internationally known as one of the most important breeding areas for this species. Even though Península Valdés does not constitute a feeding area, in recent years individuals have been observed swimming with their mouths open at the surface. Towards the end of the whale season, they move away from the coast to depths that range from 80 to 120 meters, where individuals perform long dives in an apparent feeding behavior. A total of five whales were tagged with a suction cup device containing a time-depth recorder (TDR) in Golfo Nuevo. Individuals tagged dived to depths close to 80 meters. Deep waters of Golfo Nuevo are used by ships and vessels as a route to enter to Puerto Madryn port, an industrial city, hence posing a possible threat to the whales, due to the risk of collision between whales and ships. Our aim was to report a first record of Southern right whale diving behaviors in order to know how this behavior could affect or threaten whales in ship traffic areas to and from the port close to Puerto Madryn city.