Research techniques

The research on the expedition contributed information toward improving our understanding of the population structure, abundance, trends, distribution and ecological role of whales in the Southern Ocean. Scientists used state-of-the-art non-lethal research techniques, focusing particularly on humpback, minke, blue and fin whales.

The researchers worked from onboard the Tangaroa, as well as from two smaller six-metre rigid inflatable boats.

From the Tangaroa, the scientists used a range of methods to collect and analyse information about the whales, including:

  • acoustic surveys
  • hydrographic surveys
  • collecting sitings data

A team of four or five researchers crewed each of the smaller rigid inflatable boats, which were deployed from the Tangaroa. From these smaller boats, a variety of methods were used to collect information about the whales, including:

  • biopsy sampling
  • satellite tagging
  • faeces collection
  • photo identification

Biopsy sample from Humpback whale

Biopsy sample from Humpback whale

Satellite tagging

Satellite tagging

Research area

The expedition left Wellington and travelled to the north of the Ross Sea and surrounding waters, covering a large area around the ice edge of Antarctica.

Expedition area of operation

This page was last modified on July 2, 2014.