The CARI’MAM project
More than 30 species of marine mammals inhabit the waters of the Caribbean,which makes it a world hotspot. These highly mobile species are known to move between different Caribbean territories and beyond. Between 2018 and2021, the CARI’MAM (CaribbeanMarine MammalPreservation Network) project was carried out to develop a network and foster collaboration between Caribbean actors involved in the conservation of marine mammals in the region. Co-funded by the INTERREG Caribbean Program from the European Union, it aimed at providing territories with various socio-economic, legislative and regulatory situations the opportunity to join forces to:
-Improve knowledge on the presence and movements of cetaceans in the Wider CaribbeanRegion (WCR);
-Develop MPAs’ efficiency in managing marine mammals and their habitats within their borders.
This project was coordinated by four organizations:
-SPAW-RAC, the Regional Activity Center for the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife from the Cartagena Convention;
-The St Martin Natural Reserve;
-The Grand Connetable Island Natural Reserve in French Guyana;
-The Agoa Sanctuary, which is the CARI’MAM project leader.
The CARI’MAM network grew all along the project, gathering more than 50 organizationsfrom about 30 territories from Bermuda to French Guyana, Barbados to Jamaica and Central America.
The main objectives of the CARI’MAM project were to:
-Create a network of MPAs dedicated to marine mammals in the WCR and beyond;
-Building capacities and knowledge among MPA managers;
-Develop common management and evaluation tools;
-Supporting the development of a sustainable whale watching industry in the WCR and beyond.
Specifically, nine Work Packages were identifiedto reach those objectives. Work Package 2 (WP2), entitled “Data acquisition” aimed at acquiring knowledge on marine mammals and testing field methodology through several scientific campaigns at sea.
Therefore, two scientific campaigns were organized in 2021, covering the waters of Anguilla, St Martin, Sint Maarten,St Barthelemy, Saba, Statia, Guadeloupe and Martinique. The objective of this survey was to evaluate cetacean abundance and distribution during the dry season and the wet season respectively. This report presents the methodology and results of this survey for Saba’s waters.