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The same dolphin visits three countries Published 11.10.2022

Researchers aim to develop a better understanding of the relationship between predators at the top of the food chain across the North Atlantic. As part of an international study, TOPLINK, researchers from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and the Faroe Islands have tagged four Atlantic white-sided dolphins with satellite transmitters. The dolphins were tagged with the transmitters on 3 September 2022 in a Faroese bay. Unfortunately, two of the transmitters have stopped working, but the other two are still reporting data about the dolphins’ position almost a month after they were attached to the dolphins.

Researchers know very little about dolphins in the North Atlantic. It was therefore very exciting when the transmitters were attached to the dolphins. Surprisingly, the dolphins quickly swam away in different directions immediately after being tagged with the transmitters. Now, after almost a month, the one that swam westwards has reached the eastern Greenland continental shelf. Connection to two others was lost after just one week. However, the fourth dolphin, which still has its transmitter, also seems to be heading towards eastern Greenland waters.

“This is the first time ever that we’ve documented the Atlantic white-sided dolphin’s migration across the north Atlantic from Faroese waters to Greenland waters. This is also the first time it’s been documented that Greenland, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands share the population of Atlantic white-sided dolphins in the north Atlantic,” said Sara De Clerck, a PhD student responsible for analysing and collecting data to better understand the role of dolphins in the overall ecosystem.

Follow the migration of the dolphins here:
https://my.wildlifecomputers.com/data/map/?id=6314cf52e9b3515c2e295616

The TOPLINK project is a collaboration between the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and the Faroe Marine Research Institute. The Research Council Faroe Islands (https://www.gransking.fo/en/home/) has provided funding for the project.

Species account:
https://nammco.no/atlantic-white-sided-dolphin-2/#1478700043369-833c5ccc-7441

For further information, contact:
PhD Student Sara De Clerck, sadc@natur.gl, +298 259108
Head of Section Bjarni Mikkelsen, bjarnim@hav.fo, +298 278588
Head of Section Fernando Ugarte feug@natur.gl  +299 522401
Professor Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen, mhj@ghsdk.dk  +45 40257943