The use of underwater viewing deck of the semi-submersible whalewatching vessel Yellow Submarine at Península Valdés, Argentina as a platform of opportunity for scientifc research with the southern right whale, Eubalaena australis
Keywords:Whale watching, Southern right whale, Behavior, Underwater research platform, Península Valdés, Argentina
Whale-watching vessels can be used as platforms to collect scientific data on the natural history of cetaceans. Vessels with underwater viewing decks are exceptional and offer a unique view of the whales. We assessed the underwater viewing platform of the semi-submersible vessel Yellow Submarine that operates off Puerto Pirámides, Península Valdés, Argentina as a platform of opportunity for southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) research. The variables considered during observations included, among others, the age class and sex of the animals observed, behavioral patterns, opportunities for individual photo-identification, distance and duration of the underwater observations and how weather conditions affected data collection. The Yellow Submarine offers a unique platform to make underwater observations of southern right whales in this calving ground. The main limitations are the relatively short duration of the observations and reduced visibility in spring.
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