“… Our task was to find them, pace them, and let them continue their remarkable behavior without disturbance, while also documenting the behavior and collecting our photos and biopsy samples. Tricky. With a truly team effort, and help from the whales when they slowed down occasionally, we succeeded.
We paced the whales nearby, watching them explode through the water side by side. So close they could have been touching each other.”
— Dr. Leigh Torres, featured in National Geographic’s Explorers Journal blog
Leigh Torres holds a joint position with OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute and Oregon Sea Grant Extension. Her research focuses on 50 blue whales in the South Taranaki Bight, some of New Zealand’s busiest and most industrialized waters, seeking to learn how many whales are there, how important it is as a feeding area for them, and to what population of whales they belong.
Follow Dr. Torres’ work in the MMI’s blog, complete with video of the racing whales.