Yesterday we attched one of the new generation DTags on a Risso's dolphin for almost nine hours and conducted a perfect CEE. This was the longest successful attachment to date with the new version tags on offshore odontocetes and the first on a Risso's. Below is a shot of the tag riding on the back of the animal who was in a group of about 20 that we followed most of the day.
Rissos dolphins are among our focal species for SOCAL-11 experiments. We conducted one CEE on this species last year in SOCAL-10 and have been hoping for more this year. This species has also proven somewhat difficult to tag in the past and our tags on last year were for just a few hours, so to get a nine hour deployment spanning several different behavioral modes was pretty exciting. The tag came off late into the evening, but quite close to our anchorage and we made a beautiful late night ride in very calm seas and a red-yellow moon out to safely retrieve it.