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 at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center
The Passive Acoustic Ecology Program conducts a variety of research projects that use passive acoustics to assess populations and improve our understanding of cetaceans in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. waters of the Western Atlantic.
Passive Acoustic Technologies Used at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Researchers use advanced technology to record and study the sounds produced by marine mammals and human-made sources.
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…
Understanding Marine Mammal Protections
Learn how NOAA Fisheries protects all marine mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.