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And for those who adore the great outdoors….

The Oregon Chapter of the American Cetacean Society is having our monthly speaker series meeting on Saturday February 19th at 10:00am.  The meeting will be held via Zoom and is free to the public.Please join us for Going in for the Krill: Developing Prey-Informed Ecosystem Models to Mitigate Whale Entanglement Risk in Oregon presented by Rachel Kaplan.  Register on Eventbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/speaker-series-meeting-tickets-260772185627 to receive the Zoom link and password.

Entanglement in fishing gear is a major threat to cetaceans around the world, including here in Oregon. Developing ecosystem models can help fill a knowledge gap that is essential for efforts to mitigate entanglements: where do whales spend their time in Oregon waters?

This research is part of the Oregon State University project, “Overlapping Predictions about Large whales” (Project OPAL), which seeks to provide information to managers about the distributions of blue and humpback whales in Oregon waters. Currently, we are using marine mammal surveys, oceanographic data, and measurements of an important prey called krill to develop whale distribution models. Ultimately, these models will be used to map overlap between whales and Oregon fisheries, including for Dungeness crab. This talk will overview our approach in order to share how this research can benefit both management in Oregon and our understanding of whale distributions.

Rachel Kaplan is a PhD student at Oregon State University, co-advised by Dr. Kim Bernard and Dr. Leigh Torres. She is also a 2021 ACS Oregon Chapter grant recipient. Rachel is interested in how marine animal distribution and behavior intersect with human systems, and how understanding these interactions can inform management and conservation efforts. When not thinking about whales and krill, Rachel is probably hiking, climbing, or baking.

The American Cetacean Society protects whales, dolphins, porpoises, and their habitats. The non-profit organization was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in San Pedro, CA. Information on the ACS can be found on the website:www.acsonline.org. You can also find us on Facebook now at American Cetacean Society-Oregon Chapter.

If you have questions or need more information you can contact Joy Primrose at marine-lover4ever@yahoo.com

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