Andrew’s work with the North Atlantic Humpbacks

heart_149_compressedAndrew Stevenson (pictured left with Somers-4 and Elsa-9) started his research on humpbacks in 2007. His visual and acoustics data on the pelagic social behaviour of humpbacks as they migrate past Bermuda. was conducted between Feb 2007 and Feb 2010 while making the film "Where the Whales Sing". After completing the film he continued his research and wrote and illustrated "Whale Song" published in 2011..

Marine scientists know a lot about the humpbacks in their feeding and breeding grounds closer to shore, but there is little information on the humpbacks' mid-ocean migratory behaviour. As a mid-ocean platform, Bermuda provides a unique window into the lives of the humpbacks.

Please contact us at 777 7688 ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you have any sightings of whales during the winter months up to March. Got photos of the underside of whales' flukes? ...email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Andrew filming

Through exploration of Bermuda’s waters, research, data analysis and educational outreach-our mission is to promote an understanding of humpback whales to protect cetaceans' rights as a step towards conserving our marine environment.

We conduct our research under a Protected Species Licence for Scientific Research Activities Licence no. 14-11-22-15 issued by the Government of Bermuda, Department of Conservation Services.

Our aerial photography/videography is under aerial work permission given by the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation and can be viewed on www.bermudaaerialography.com

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Summary Statistics to date:

Total fluke IDs for 2017:140

Total individual fluke IDs 2007-2017: 1270
Total resightings in different years: 171
Longest layover in Bermuda: 9 days

Where the Whales Sing wins the "Best Emerging Underwater Filmmaker" award at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, California.  - read more....

Where the Whales Sing wins the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art Charman Prize for 2011- read more...

For those who would like to see my aerial videos of the humpbacks go to my website www.bermudaaerialography.com

 
2017-09-05 Poster Presentation at the upcoming Society for Marine Mammology Conference, Halifax, NS Print E-mail

This is the fourth Society for Marine Mammology Conference I have given a poster presentation but the first in my own right, without being affiliated with an overseas academic institution.1275 abstracts were submitted for the conference and 299 reviewers from across the globe reviewed them.

Proposal for attendance at the 2017 22nd Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals October 22-27, 2017 in Halifax, Nova Scotia by Andrew Stevenson

Abstract:


Positioned in the middle of the North Atlantic humpback whales' migratory journey from their southern breeding grounds to their northern feeding grounds, Bermuda provides an ideal platform to study pelagic humpback whale behavior. Humpbacks are observed in Bermuda waters from late December to mid-May, a wider time window than previously known. Challenger Bank, a shallow (50m) seamount fifteen miles SW of Bermuda, is one of many seamounts on the humpbacks' migratory route. Dedicated research over the last decade has provided over 1,250 individual humpbacks IDs. Layovers in Bermuda of up to eleven days have been recorded. The similarity of dates of annual re-sightings indicates that the humpbacks may maintain fidelity to a fixed migratory timetable. In five of the last six seasons newborn calves have been witnessed in Bermuda waters in late December and early January. This database, combined with underwater and aerial video observations, provide additional insights into the humpbacks' behaviors relative to these environments. Humpbacks observed on the leading edges of the seamount exhibit behaviour consistent with foraging and aerial footage reveals defecation. Resting pairs of stationary humpbacks are often submerged for long periods with breathing cycles of up to 50 minutes duration. Underwater footage in shallow water off Bermuda reveals humpbacks exfoliating in sand holes. Aerial 4k video discreetly details the humpbacks' complex social behavior. Competitive groups of males fighting in the presence of a female seen in February/March indicate breeding behavior . Surface-active clusters of non-combative humpbacks of as many as sixteen individuals in late March early April can be witnessed over some days. Hydrophone recordings evidence prevalent singing, centered on Challenge Bank. The statistical data combined with underwater and aerial footage reveal communal behaviour that implies the mid-ocean seamounts are a socially significant environment beyond being merely a transitory corridor from breeding to feeding grounds.

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The Book

whale_song_cover

Exhibition Photographs

The whales sing, not because they have an answer, they sing because they have a song.

Click here for more whale song

Fast Fact

Marine mammals developed blubber to provide insulation against the cold and to provide an energy reserve for periods when food cannot be found in abundance.

Recognise this fluke?

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