What We Do
~ to better understand the wildlife in our waters ~
Since 2007 we have welcomed and provided a platform for marine biologists on board our boats.
In the beginning, Elding collaborated with Chiara Giulia Bertulli, a Marine Biologist and Phd student. The research focused mainly on marine mammal ecology and conservation, especially estimating population abundance, social and health parameters of coastal cetacean populations.
Using photo ID we have catalogued hundreds of cetaceans we have encountered on our tours, including minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, humpback whales and orca. We do this to further understand their social behaviour, feeding habits, migration and to estimate age, population etc.
In May 2014 we took over the research, although still working closely with the University of Iceland.
Whales are important to Elding, after all, healthy whales are the cornerstone of our business. Documenting species and behaviour only answers part of the question, if you want to know what whales are doing when boats are not around, you need to employ some creative techniques. That's where telemetry comes in. Telemetry entails attaching little gadgets to the animal's backs with a suction cup that track where they go and what they do. When the device pops off, we can analyse how the animal behaves when we can no longer view it with our eyes. We began fine scale telemetry research in the summer of 2015 and for 2016-2018 we will be adding satellite telemetry to the fine scale tagging. Satellite telemetry can tell us what areas of Faxaflói bay are important, it can tell if the whales our business depends on are at risk of being harpooned by whalers, and it can shed light into the litte known migratory behavior of whales.