Norwegian researchers observed 1,200 whales at Antarctica

The research ship Crown Prince HaakonThe research ship Crown Prince Haakon.Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

Researchers from the Institute of Marine Research have completed their first cruise of Antarctica with the brand new research vessel Crown Prince Haakon.

“We saw nearly 300 humpback whales and almost 260 fin whales,” says marine scientists Martin Biuw and Ulf Lindstrum who have just returned to the Institute of Marine Research in Tromsø after the cruise in Antarctica.

They also recorded nine blue whales and counted penguins and seals. Three whales were satellite tagged.

It is the first time that such a comprehensive count of whales in the Scotia Sea has been carried out, therefore the researchers have no basis for comparison.

“This must be considered as the first count in a future time series, because we expect that there will be several such trips – at least as long as Norwegian vessels fish krill in the Southern Ocean,” says Biuw.

The research vessel Crown Prince Haakon was baptized by Princess Ingrid Alexandra in November. The research vessel cost NOK 1.4 billion.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today