Satellite tracking of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) off the coast of northern Norway

Main Article Content

M. P. Heide-Jørgensen
E. S. Nordoy
N. Oien
L. P. Folkow
L. Kleivane
A. S. Blix
M. V. Jensen
K. L. Laidre


Two minke whales were tagged with satellite-linked radio transmitters off the coast of northern Norway in order to obtain data on daily locations, movements and swimming speed. One whale was tagged in September 1994, south of Lofoten at the entrance to the Vestfjorden, and one whale was tagged in August 1999 just north of Vesterålen. The whale tagged in 1994 was successfully tracked for 31 days (located 1.5 times/day on average). The whale tagged in 1999 was successfully tracked for 19 days (located 3.0 times/day on average), although the first locations were not obtained until 18 days after the instrumentation. The whale tagged in 1994 travelled between two apparent feeding areas on the west coast of northern Norway: one in the mouth of Vestfjorden and the other along the continental slope north of Vesterålen. The whale tagged in 1999 moved to an area inside Vestfjorden and remained there until early September, after which it began a southward movement out of Vestfjorden offshore to the edge of the continental shelf. Both whales were presumably feeding on herring (Clupea harengus), which is particularly abundant in these waters at this time of year. The two minke whales travelled 78 and 79 km/day when distances between all positions were used, and 66 and 53 km/day when the daily average positions (all qualities) were used. Both calculations illustrate that minke whales can move considerable distances on a daily basis.

Article Details


Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>