Santa (Alastair) helper

December 26, 2010   

Being the only fully trained assitant on base for Alastair we went over to Maiviken today to put GPS tags on two female seals. The seals have pups so they go off to sea for 4 days foraging and then return to the beaches.

Alastair uses a VHF aerial to identify what area of the beach the tagged seal is and then retrieves the tags and downloads the data. This data is very helpful as it tells how far they swim and in what direction and also how deep they dive to feed. This means he is then able to tell the fisheries managers (government officers) if there is a particular area they are fishing in and how much krill there is in that area. The government can then make a decision based on this information about where to close for fishing. In all seriousness the old predator scientist was asked by a tourist what sky TV channels he could get using the aerial!

It has to be dry to put a tag on a seal so we were lucky as just after we had done the second one the skies opened with a mix of hail and rain. Alastair had some photos to take at the beaches but he was done with me so the Dr. Sam and I hurried on home stopping at the museum for a cup of tea and biscuits before the next cruise ship rush.

Pictures by Sam


2 Responses to “Santa (Alastair) helper”

  1. So that’s what he does, we did wonder! We knew he tagged the seals, but finding them……….so his all night radio tracking of nightjars in Welsh woods has paid off; or was he just watching tv 🙂

  2. Are you sure that is what he was tracking all night in the welsh woods!