Attaching tags to whales requires special permission from the National Marine Fisheries Service. This involves an extensive permitting process that is reviewed every 5 years to ensure it meets the best practices to minimize any impacts on the whales. The method we use to attach tags to whales was pioneered by Dr. Bruce Mate here at OSU and was developed over several decades.

Whales are too big to capture and attach a tag, so we use an air powered applicator to attach tags remotely from a boat at close range when the whale surfaces to breathe.

How do we tag a whale?