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


  • Mariano Sironi Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
  • Lucía Alzugaray Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas
  • Agustina Saez Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas
  • Florencia Ornela Vilches Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas
  • Alejandro Fernández Ajó Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas Department of Biological Sciences & Center for Bioengineering Innovation, Northern Arizona University
  • Paula Faiferman Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas



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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