FIJI WHALE WATCHERS TRACK HUMPBACK MIGRATION

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Survey notes different whale, dolphin species

By Riteshni Singh SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 9, 2010) – windy conditions around Lau waters had made whale watching difficult for the Fiji Humpback Whale Survey team.

According to the lead researcher of the survey, Dr Cara Miller the activity has been low for the past two days.

She said whales couldn't be spotted with the wind.

"We have spotted one minke whale and spinner dolphins for the past two days," she said.

She said apart from whale watching, the team was also creating awareness about whales and dolphins to the village youths.

"We also have a library talk for students of the Levuka Primary School," she said.

Dr Miller said Uto ni Yalo has been trying to record whale songs at night.

"The crew has been able to record some songs and it is better to do during the quietness of the night," she said.

The survey has entered its third week and so far more than 20 Humpback whales have been seen in the waters between Levuka and Makogai.

Dr Miller said during the first week of the survey the team had been rewarded with numerous visits from large pods of spinner dolphins.

She said the main purpose of the exercise was to document the migration pattern of endangered Oceania humpback whales through Fiji waters.

The survey started on August 28 and would end on September 28.

She said teams would use underwater recording to identify the different species of whales and dolphins that pass through Fijian waters.

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