The 2012 Cetacean Sanctuary Research project season has started with the new tradition of university campaigns (which was launched in 2011).
Bachelor students of the faculties of Natural Sciences, Biology, and Marine Sciences, came on board for a technical and high-level field experience.
Students coming from the Universities of Milan and Messina experienced an interdisciplinary week in this campaign edition. Lessons, as well as intense hours spent at sea, provided the budding researchers with an opportunity to live a full week as scientists.
They learned research techniques and data collection methods in detail, and collected data themselves.
This May is a relaxed one, and the weather is still spring-like, therefore not all days of the past week were favourable for navigation. However, other land-based activities completed the students’ training.
The most exciting day of the week was the day we encountered the "sperm whale welcoming committee"! Twelve hours were spent with the animals, twelve ‘fluke-up’ events were recorded, and four animals were photo-identified in total. A group of striped dolphins joined one of the sperm whales, and performed a bow-riding ‘dance’ around the front of its head. By the end of the day, everybody was exhausted but thoroughly happy. What a great start to the season!