Gray Whale Tracking

On March 7, 2012, Southwest Fisheries Science Center scientists and Mexican collaborators completed their mission to deploy small satellite dart tags on adult gray whales (19 total whales tagged) in order to monitor the whales' fine scale migration routes through the coastal waters off Baja California, Mexico, and southern California. 

The public can track these Eastern North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as they travel along the annual migratory route from the winter breeding grounds in the lagoons of Baja California to summer feeding grounds in the Arctic. This migration follows the coast of North America, and overlaps with areas of heavy coastal shipping, fisheries and resource exploration. 


A screenshot of the active map showing the migration routes of 19 satellite-tagged gray whales as they migrate north along the western seaboard.



A satellite LIMPET tag being deployed on the dorsal ridge of a gray whale off British Columbia. These 49g low-profile tags are attached using a crossbow; the tag antenna is inserted into the hollow shaft of a projectile bolt; on contact with the dorsal fin this bolt will falls away (as shown), leaving only the transmitter attached to the animal


Gray Whale Research