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Marine Species Monitoring

Humpback whales in the Marianas

Posted on April 5, 2016

Map of survey effort and sightings March 2016 CNMISaipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: During 29 February – 14 March 2016, the NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Cetacean Research Program (CRP) was on Saipan under Navy funding to expand last year's effort to search for and study humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Mariana Islands.  The seasonal presence and population identify of this species is largely a mystery in these waters. For the second consecutive year, the team was successful in locating humpback whales off Saipan, and matched one individual through photography to a sighting of the same animal during a previous Navy survey in 2007.

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