Bruce Mate, Niki Diogou
Latin name: Physeter macrocephalus
Field investigations of the potential impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (20 April 2010) and subsequent response efforts on endangered sperm whales were performed in 2010-2013 to assist with the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process. The Marine Mammal Institute successfully tagged 58 sperm whales with a variety of location-only and Advanced Dive Behavior time-depth-recorder satellite tags. Additional satellite tracks from location-only tags are available for 51 sperm whales tagged from 2002-2005 during the Sperm Whale Seismic Study project funded by the Minerals Management Service (now Bureau of Ocean Energy Management), providing data from the northern Gulf of Mexico prior to the oil spill. Movements and habitats of these tagged whales are being described and characterized to detect possible effects of the oil spill.