01 June 2011

Cetacean Sanctuary Research (CSR_02), May, 23-29

The CSR cruise number 2 was again characterised by the presence of students from Milano University. They came on board within the context of a naturalistic campaign meant to be their very first field experience. They had the opportunity to live the real life of a researcher, facing long hours under the sun, entering the data collected into the computer, and helping the crew to patrol the sea in search for animals.
They also had the possibility to compare the sperm whale pictures taken during the first two weeks with Tethys catalogue. Of four individuals analyzed, one turned out to be a well known friend, "Gogo".
Four days were spent at sea and an amazing number of sightings occurred. For 21 times we had the occasion to scream "dorsal fin, at 9 o’clock, 400m". or "blow!".
All the marine life appeared to be concentrated in the first bathymetric lines of the map, even sunfish (Mola mola) were seen close to the coast.
A nice guest joined the company flapping around the boat, a small bird, a wood warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), who spent with us a couple of hours "nesting" on Giulia’s head.
Mariana, a brasialian researcher in the field of ecotossicology, who studies franciscana (the cetacean species Pontoporia blainvillei) shared her experience with us this week. Mariana gave us important information about the chemicals pollutants humans release in the sea and their devastating effects on cetaceans and other marine animals.
The spirit was high and the week passed very quickly. We hope this was a good chance for the researchers of tomorrow to have a look inside their future carriers and to make a good choice. In any case it was a pleasure to share time at sea together.

Francesca, Morgana, Giulia, Alessandra and Mariana

Following link is for participants of this week's expedition, showing the ship's route, pictures of some of the sightings and of some moments of the cruise which were memorable (or even not so...)

Ai partecipanti al turno è dedicato uno spazio con il percorso effettuato durante la settimana, le foto di alcuni avvistamenti e qualche immagine dei momenti da ricordare - importanti e non.

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