The Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association (GOMMEA) hosted their annual meeting on November 10 at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH. The speaker for the evening was Dr. David Wiley, Research Coordinator of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts. The title of Dr. Wiley's lecture was: "Catch and Release Whaling: Using Advanced Tagging and Data Visualization Technologies to Understand the Underwater Behavior of Humpback Whales (in New England Atlantic waters)."
The fascinating lecture revealed how scientists have been able to detect where whales are congregating both on the surface and down below. Swim patterns were mapped, which gave rise to international shipping lanes being shifted to less populated areas; a win-win situation that proved instantly successful with greatly diminished whale strikes.
GOMMEA President Kate Leavitt and Treasurer Sara Ellis presented Dr. Wiley with a framed print from a winning participant of "From the Bow Seat" contest, depicting a whale rising out of a sea of ocean plastic pollution.
Fellow NMEA member Bill Andrake attended the event and joined his neighboring chapter. Bill is currently a member of Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME). Bill is pictured with Carol Steingart, past-president of GOMMEA.
- Carol Steingart, GOMMEA Chapter Representative