Development of Beluga Capture and Satellite Tagging Protocol in Cook Inlet, Alaska
Using gillnet encirclement and satellite tags to document Cook Inlet beluga whale movements.
Attempts to capture and place satellite tags on beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in Cook Inlet, Alaska were conducted during late spring and summer of 1995, 1997, and 1999. In 1995, capture attempts using a hoop net proved impractical in Cook Inlet. In 1997, capture efforts focused on driving belugas into nets. Although this method had been successful in the Canadian High Arctic, it failed in Cook Inlet due to the ability of the whales to detect and avoid nets in shallow and very turbid water. In 1999, belugas were successfully captured using a gillnet encirclement technique. A satellite tag was attached to a juvenile male, which subsequently provided the first documentation of this species’ movements within Cook Inlet during the summer months (May 31– September 17).
Richard C. Ferrero, Sue E. Moore, and Roderick C. Hobbs. Published in Marine Fisheries Review 62(3), 2000.