Whales are among the largest and oldest animals on Earth. They can be found in every ocean and range in size from the small dwarf sperm whale to the massive blue whale, the largest animal on the planet. Whales belong to a group of marine mammals called cetaceans. Marine mammals in the cetacean family include whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
There are two types of cetaceans: baleen and toothed. Baleen whales, or Mysticetes, have baleen plates which sieve prey, like krill, from the water. Toothed whales, or Odontocetes, have teeth and feed on fish, squid, and other marine mammals such as seals and sea lions.
Together with our partners, we work to ensure the conservation of whales which are all protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and protect and recover those that are listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Publications by Northeast Passive Acoustic Research Staff
Our staff regularly publish their findings in scientific journals and Center-produced documents…
Passive Acoustic Research in the Atlantic Ocean
Marine mammals and many fish produce and receive sound in the ocean. In an environment where vision is limited, hearing is one of the most important senses. These animals rely on sound for navigating, socializing, establishing dominance, attracting…
Retrospective analysis of measures to reduce large whale entanglements in a lucrative commercial fishery
Marine mammal bycatch is a significant anthropogenic threat to recovering populations. Gear…
An Unknown Nocturnal Call Type in the Mariana Archipelago
In spring/summer of 2018 and 2021, the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Cetacean Research…
Understanding Marine Mammal Protections
Learn how NOAA Fisheries protects all marine mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.