WHALE & DOLPHIN RESEARCH, PHOTOS & SIGHTINGS REPORT
The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation (BMMRO) has recently been involved in a major tagging and monitoring program around Andros, in particular using sonar to test the responses of beaked whales. Being all at sea for a few weeks meant that many other marine mammals were encountered. Thanks to Charlotte and Diane for permission to use some of their photographs taken during the research trip – and also in Abaco waters – to illustrate the amazing diversity of cetacean life in the waters of the northern Bahamas.
RESEARCH VESSEL “SLUMBER VENTURE”
A Sperm Whale with unusual pigmentation
SPERM WHALES OFF ANDROSSPERM WHALE TAILINGTHAT GULL SURELY CAN’T BE CRAZY ENOUGH TO…WELL, IT JUST DID!
MELON-HEADED WHALES – MOTHER & NEW-BORN CALF
THE FIN OF A MALE BEAKED WHALE
The research, tagging and monitoring programs pay dividends in conservation and species preservation terms… but then along comes a brutal reminder, way out in the pristine ocean, of the far-reaching extent of man’s reckless damage of the planet and the creatures in it. This poor animal has become swathed in plastic. The likelihood is that its stomach will have dozens of pieces of plastic in it, from microscopic to potentially damaging – or fatal. We made it all, and we chucked it away.
Moving into less contentious areas, here is the BMMRO sightings list for the last month, with a great deal of activity recorded. For once there is even a sighting included of my very own, of 3 bottlenose dolphins in Hope Town harbour one lunchtime in mid-June. See HERE
Finally, the latest news from the BMMRO is that Dr Diane Claridge, besides being awarded her PhD earlier this year for her research on beaked whales, has graduated from the ancient scottish university of St Andrews, founded in 1413. It is the third-oldest university in the english-speaking world (and the oldest in the scottish-speaking world…).
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