The Cetaceans on the Frontier III survey team will depart Cork on Friday afternoon. The team consists of scientists and students from the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, BirdWatch Ireland, University College Cork, Queens University Belfast, University of Aberdeen and MEER. The team aims to carry out a variety of scientific investigations over an 11 day period, including:
1. Double platform cetacean visual surveys and simultaneous acoustic surveys on the slopes and canyon systems of the Goban Spur and Porcupine Seabight.
2. To conduct a visual survey of marine megafauna including sharks, turtles, tuna and sunfish.
3. To deploy static acoustic monitoring devices (C-PODs) on acoustic release systems on Labadie Bank to investigate offshore dolphin activity.
4. To conduct a survey of seabird species and abundance according to ESAS methods in offshore waters.
5. To sample Mauve Stinger jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca to investigate the prevalence of the bacterium Tenacibaculum maritimum which has serious economic implications for fin-fish aquaculture, while providing further insight into biological factors influencing ecosystem functioning.
6. To sample the for phytoplankton, zooplankton and krill which form the basis of the food chain which supports cetaceans, seabirds and other marine megafauna in these habitats.
7. To carry out systematic CTD sampling stations in order to explore relationships between temperature,primary productivity and presence of marine mammals.
This survey will be conducted on board the R.V. Celtic Explorer. For more information on the Explorer please view the following: