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 2017:123 (as of 2017-04-18--includes 26 re-sightings to previous years)

Total individual fluke IDs 2007-2016: 1376
Total re-sightings Bermuda to Bermuda: Total whales re-sighted 205
Longest layover in Bermuda: 11 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...

 
2017-04-18 The worst season in 11 years and why whale watching in Bermuda is fraught with ifs Print E-mail

Three years ago we had high winds for the three weeks of the peak of the whale migration. Last year was the worst season I had in a decade with persistent high winds throughout the whale season. In the best years I have obtained as much as 200 individual fluke IDs. And I have to say that this season has been even more difficult with once again persistent high winds and waves. So far I have about 125 fluke IDs for the season. When there are high winds and waves it's difficult to spot the whales (although they are there) and of course for those liable to get seasick, it's a recipe for bringing up breakfast. Lots and lots of sightings from the South Shore. Bermuda can have the best whale-watching in the world IF the winds are down and the waves aren't significant. Sometimes the winds are calm but the previous days' high winds mean big ocean swells. No point looking for a whale on calm days when the whales, or the boat disappear into an ocean trough.

 

On Easter Sunday I went out with four of my most experienced crew and we found one whale. One. We did obtain it's fluke ID.

 

All that being said, by sheer persistence, we have had amazing opportunities this season despite the winds and waves and the difficulty of landing a large drone off a small bucking boat to obtain aerial footage of the humpbacks' social behavior, aspects of their lives I did not obtain last season. We have a group nine whales in a competitive group around a single female who repeated breached. We have a mother and a yearling with an escort and a challenger constantly pec slapping. We have a group of seven whales in a 'surface active' or 'rowdy' group where the males are battling it out over a female. We have two whales 'floating' on their backs and sides around our boat for an hour-and-a-half. We have five whales moving off in a convoy, breaching as they head up north as if trying to attract other whales to join the group.

 

Now begins the process of editing all the footage to make my sequel documentary to "Where the Whales Sing".

 

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

Researchers have discovered that individual humpbacks can be identified by the black and white patterns on the underside of their flukes, similar to fingerprints for humans. They take pictures called "fluke ID's"and compare them to ones taken before.

Recognise this fluke?

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