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brenda rone  

The North Pacific Right Whale Research Cruise scheduled for the month of August in the Gulf of Alaska is designed to locate, photograph, and hopefully satellite-tag a critically endangered North Pacific right whale. This cruise represents one leg in a four-month Collaborative Large Whale Survey that is being conducted along the west coast by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the Alaska Fisheries Science Center aboard the NOAA Fisheries research vessel Reuben Lasker. Brenda Rone (pictured left) is NOAA Fisheries affiliate and chief scientist on the cruise.

August 15, 2015

We had excellent visual and acoustic coverage of 3 transect lines in the high density stratum (area where we observed right whales in past years) before the winds picked up Friday evening. The plan is to conduct a transect and head inshore, survey Barnabas Trough again tomorrow, and start heading north on the inshore stratum while this system brings high winds offshore. I hope to get back offshore towards the end of this coming week.

I've been doing a lot of reflecting out here, especially these past few days where we've been working in calm seas and unlimited visibility. It's exciting to have the opportunity to survey this area. Although we've had some pleasant and significant surprises such as the blue whales, it's very sobering to think about how many right whales were caught out here and the fact that we've yet to find a single animal.

Everyone remains very optimistic and with around the clock effort by scientists, officers and the crew on board the Reuben Lasker, we are doing everything we can!


Read more about this important cruise. Listen to a recording of a right whale call. Check out some photos! Check back here for updates on what Brenda and our other scientists see while on the cruise.


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