Science and education

Science

Throughout our whale and dolphin watching season, we remain in touch with researchers from Universities and other institutes.

Supplying scientific data, essentially whale photos that can be used for photo-id projects, is a great part of our mission regarding the social responsibility we feel we have, and we wish to contribute actively to the scientific development and evolution in this field of research.

This programme´s objective is to contribute to the study and knowledge of protected species within the regional strategies of natural resources conservation.

Daily, during our trips, data regarding the observed species is collected and logged, mainly its numbers and geographical position. We also take photos of the individuals and their distinguishable characteristics.

This collection of data is then introduced on their online platforms, which converts these observations in an interesting analysis for us and the public in general, making it valuable for future research. The platform allows us to identify distribution patterns of different species, and it shows that numbers change throughout time. Thanks to photo-id investigation of the movements of specific individuals is possible. 

Identification catalogues

Like explained previously, on our trip we photograph, identify and catalogue the individuals we “meet” daily.
Photo-id allows the understanding of the species, its behaviors, identify and recognize individuals and/or groups of animals. This gives us the opportunity to understand if there are resident individuals or groups, how long they remain and their composition. This collection of data is also important to help us during the trips. We are able to identify groups of animals and associate behaviour patterns and diving patterns knowing exactly which group it is on each observation.

We combine tradition with science

Beyond our land based lookouts, who indicate us the location of the animals, we also use a hydrophone, an instrument used in scientific research, also helping us in finding and locating some cetacean species. Our hydrophone helps us combine creativity and science.  

Science that is born within…

We have always supported biologists that work with us, and we have always motivated them to go above and beyond, take a chance on their scientific careers. So far, Sofia Mendonça, Ricardo Fernandes and Marilia Olio made their masters´ dissertations in the University of the Azores, using data collected during our trips.

“Temporal variability of cetaceans in the Azores and its relation with oceanographic features as derived by satellite imagery”. OLIO, M. (2016).

Integrated Oceans Studies Masters degree dissertation, University of the Azores – Department of Oceanography and Fisheries. Download abstract 

“Methodology proposal and study of photo-id of the Bryde´s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) in Azores and Madeira”. FERNANDES, R. (2014).

Integrated Oceans Studies Masters degree dissertation, University of the Azores – Department of Oceanography and Fisheries. Download abstract

Scientific communications

OLIO, M., et al. (2015): “A three year study of humpack whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) occurence in Faial – Pico islands of the Azores and its relation to satellite-derived surface biophysical products”. 29th Conference of the European Cetacean Society, 23-25th March 2015, Malta.
Download poster

OLIO. M., ORIA, N., et al (2016). “Vertebral column malformation in a Fin Whale in Azorean waters”. ESC Madeira 2016. Download poster

Education

Sharing our experiences with others, learning and communicating cetacean knowledge
is another one of our favorite activities.

Lectures

We organise lectures with the purpose of showing this activity we love so much to as many people we can, and it also allows us to share experiences.

During these lectures, we seek to transfer our knowledge, create awareness and appeal to the importance of animal conservation.

Oceans-On®

We are partners of the Oceans-On® project. Professor Oscópio is the guest teacher in our company. He lives in the Oceans-On® planet, he is a scientist and an ocean philosopher! A great deal of his work with us is to help promote ocean literacy: “Understand the influence we have on the ocean and the influence the ocean has on us”. In preparation to the extraordinary adventures for 2020. Meanwhile, get to know the missions of the other residents of the Oceans-On®Planet!