POSTED: 05:53 p.m. HST, Jul 17, 2011
A new study on a dolphin species shows the mammals use offshore eddies, or currents, in Hawaiian waters as foraging areas.
The study, which appeared online in the journal Marine Mammal Science last week, showed three of 10 melon-headed whales tagged for the study spent much of their time along or near the center of eddies off Hawaii.
Eddies are currents that run counter to the main current. Off Hawaii, they're created by wind and ocean currents that pass around the islands. Dolphin prey and animals including sea turtles, game fish and seabirds flock to them.
The study was authored by scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Cascadia Research Collective, Wild Whale Research Foundation, and the University of Alaska.