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Call for papers: JCRM Special Issue on whale tagging

The IWC’s Journal of Cetacean Research & Management (JCRM) plans to launch a new Special Issue on cetacean tagging in 2024, and is calling for papers on key topics.

Satellite tags are a particularly useful tool for studying cetaceans because whales spend most of their time under water, often in the world’s most remote regions.  The first successful tagging of a whale was in the 1930s.  Today, cetacean-specific tags are commercially available and widely used to collect information on physiology, behaviour and ecology.

As well as tracking the geographic position of a whale, modern tags are often able to record data such as body and water temperature, heart rate, dive depth and duration, and acceleration speeds. They can also monitor physiology and behaviour within a changing environment, and help scientists to identify and predict whales’ responses to potential threats such as ocean noise or debris.

Both the IWC and the JCRM Journal have focused on this topic in the past, including publication of guidance on safe and effective deployment of tags. The guidance was developed by a multi-disciplinary group with expertise including veterinary medicine, general biology and tag technology and published in 2019.  

JCRM is the long-running scientific journal of the IWC and an important source of information on key cetacean research and conservation topics. The Journal was comprehensively updated in 2021, with new layouts, increased accessibility and an overhauled process for submission and review.

The editorial board of JCRM are seeking papers on four key topics:

·       Development of cetacean tracking methods and technology;

·       Assessment of the potential effects of telemetry instruments on the behaviour, physiology, health, reproduction and/or survival of cetaceans;

·       New ecological findings from cetacean tracking;

·       Application of telemetry methods to improve cetacean conservation and management. 

The deadline for submissions is 30th August 2024.  If you would like to submit a paper to this Special Issue, please contact the editorial board here.