Arctic Survey of Ice, CO2 & Fisheries

Tracking melting ice, measuring CO2, and counting fish, seals, and whales to better understand behavior and population in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.



operation area

Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea

deployment location

Dutch Harbor, AK


Three saildrones launched from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, spent three months in the US Arctic reaching 75°N and sailing more than 7,775 nautical miles combined before returning to Dutch Harbor for retrieval. Two of the vehicles were equipped with a newly adapted system to measure CO2 concentrations in the Chukchi Sea; the third vehicle, equipped with an echo sounder, remained in the Bering Sea to survey walleye pollock, northern fur seals, and the elusive North Pacific right whale.


Researchers attached video cameras on northern fur seals to record feeding behavior and verify the species and sizes of fish the fur seals are eating, which was combined with the saildrone data to better understand this declining population.