Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole

Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole (MEOP) will deploy state-of-the-art animal-borne CTD (Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) tags on strategically chosen, deep-diving marine mammal species to explore their current movement patterns, behaviour and habitat utilization in Polar Regions. Deployments will take place on the deepest diving seals in the Arctic and Antarctic – hooded seals in the north and elephant seals in the south. Additionally, to maximise ice-filled water coverage, deployments will also take place on Weddell seals and crabeater seals. Concomitant with the sampling of ecological data sets on these top predators, the animals will themselves (via the equipment they carry) collect a vast, high-precision oceanographic data set from logistically difficult areas of ocean in Polar Seas at the fringes of the North and South Atlantic and the South Pacific that are strategically important to climate and ocean modelling. Co-operation between programmes within IPY will provide MEOP with comprehensive, synoptic oceanographic coverage that will allow us, for the first time ever at this level, to quantify factors determining habitat selection by key polar marine mammal species. In turn, our ocean data sets will contribute significantly to modelling ocean circulation patterns and serve as input to advanced climate models