A new measurement system for the detection of whales is used for the first time on board of the research vessel Polarstern.
Whales are usually difficult to spot. On the one hand, they spend the greater part of their life under water. On the other hand, only a small part of their body can be seen when they surface, and this can even hardly be distinguished from the surrounding water.
Visual sightings by marine mammal observers are therefore usually based on observations of the spout, the condensing and quite warm breathing cloud. It rises, depending on the whale species and wind conditions, between one metre and ten metres over the water surface and remains visible for only …