Researching whale conservation on board IFAW’s Song of the Whale

On board IFAW’s ocean yacht, Song of the Whale, are a team of researchers, from both IFAW and Marine Conservation Research Ltd. These researchers are dedicated to developing and refining cutting-edge technologies for humane, non-invasive study of whale conservation and welfare around the world.

As well as playing an important role in training students and visiting scientists, research conducted from Song of the Whale has aided international efforts to understand and protect whales.

  • Using acoustic monitoring to study Whales
    All whales, dolphins and porpoises make noise, using clicks, twitters, trills and songs to communicate with relatives and pod members.
    By monitoring and analysing these sounds, our researchers have learnt much about whales and their activities, determining what species are present, how many individuals are in the group and what they might be up to.
  • Protecting North Atlantic right whales
    Since 1997, we have been working in the North Atlantic to protect right whales. From Song of the Whale, we have participated in population surveys, assisted in rescue operations and contributed to photo-identification efforts. Most recently, we collaborated with Cornell University to develop special acoustic monitoring buoys to detect right whales and warn nearby ships of their presence.
  • Monitoring and tracking vulnerable marine mammals around the world
    Researchers on board Song of the Whale have travelled across the tropical and southern Atlantic to study sperm whale distribution patterns, fin and sperm whales in the Mediterranean, whales and dolphins in Ireland’s marine sanctuary and porpoise populations in the Baltic.