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TOPP-Tagging of Pacific Predators
It is certainly exciting to catch a glimpse of a whale out at sea, but the question remains: where do whales like to hang out when they’re not mugging for tourists aboard whale sighting boats? (For that matter, what do we know of the whereabouts of other sea creatures, like sharks and elephant seals?) We know a lot, due to the efforts of TOPP (Tagging of Pacific Predators), a project of the Census of Marine Life. Through the TOPP project, 22 predator species of the Pacific Ocean have been tagged. The beautiful TOPP website contains real-time tracking information for those species, as well as maps charting their past travels. Unfortunately, the nicely constructed predator-specific pages have only been created for 7 of the 22 species, so let’s hope that the others are, in fact, “coming soon.”