Another step forward for white whale research in the Kara Sea

Another step forward for white whale research in the Kara Sea

14 September 2016

The field work for a white whale (or beluga whale) and ringed seal research project in the Kara Sea ended on 10 August. These animals are used as a measure to assess the overall state of the ecosystem in the southwestern Kara Sea. The Marine Mammal Council partnered with Gydansky State Nature Reserve to conduct the research on Shokalsky Island. Valuable data on the distribution of these marine mammals were obtained, and biological samples were collected for subsequent laboratory analysis.


Tagging a white whale and a ringed seal with a satellite transmitter was the landmark achievement of the project. The migration and seasonal distribution of these common species in the Russian Arctic remain poorly studied.


“For the first time in the history of studying the white whale and the ringed seal, we managed to tag them in one of the Russian Arctic’s seas,” Vera Krasnova, project coordinator and Marine Mammal Council member, said. “We are now tracking their movements with interest and have already learned a lot. We are also looking forward to the results of the genetic and toxicological analyses of biological samples obtained from these animals.”


The research was carried out by the Marine Mammal Council under a contract with Yamal LNG.