whales

Marine mammals in the Caribbean: a threatened treasure in our waters

Nederlands and Papiamentu below.

 

Over the last two years, the Caribbean Cetacean Society (CCS) has been studying cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in the Lesser Antilles with the support of the World Wide Fund for Nature the Netherlands (WWF-NL), the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and other partners.

Photo credit WWF-NL

CCS unveils the latest results as it has recently completed 6 new scientific expeditions in 2022 in all the Lesser Antilles. The findings show that our waters are very rich but threatened. More data are needed to better protect this resource which is one of the pillars of our blue economy. Thanks to the cooperative work carried out during the expeditions, 437 sightings of 21 species have been recorded in 2 years, including 202 sightings of juveniles.

“Ti Whale An Nou” (Our Little Whales) is the largest cetacean study program ever conducted in the Caribbean. It is first and foremost a local project, led and carried out by motivated West Indians, including people from the islands of the Dutch Caribbean, who are concerned about preserving their islands. Several employees of the Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA), STINAPA Bonaire, Nature Foundation St. Maarten, Aruba National Park Foundation, DCNA secretariat and WWF-NL joined the CCS team for this expedition. As cetaceans cannot recognize human boundaries, cooperation is essential to study and protect them. This is why the CCS has brought together in the field international participants, including members of the government and marine protected areas of 9 islands. Finally, it is an essential tool for local capacity building.

All the Caribbean islands depend on the marine ecosystem for their food and income, so it is important to protect it. Whales and dolphins play an essential role in maintaining the good condition of our ecosystems. They are pillars of our blue economy. However, the latest results of the CCS show that more than half (52%) of the cetaceans observed in 2021 have scars of anthropogenic origin. That is, traces of propellers, nets, collisions, etc. … inflicted by humans. The current lack of data does not allow us to effectively protect our natural heritage. This is why the CCS continues to organize inventories in all the islands. This is a first in terms of sustainable action of cooperation and protection of cetaceans in the Caribbean region.

Photo credit: WWF-NL

These actions are possible thanks to the support of partners: WWF-NL, Corail Caraïbes, the Parc Naturel régional de la Martinique, the EDF Group Foundation, Orange Caraïbes, SARA, DCNA, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Guadeloupe region, the Collectivité territoriale de Martinique, and Blue Marine Foundation.

 

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Nederlands

Zeezoogdieren in de Cariben: een bedreigde rijkdom in onze wateren

De afgelopen twee jaar heeft de Caribbean Cetacean Society (CCS) met steun van het Wereld Natuur Fonds (WWF-NL), de Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) en andere partners onderzoek gedaan naar walvisachtigen (walvissen en dolfijnen) in de Kleine Antillen.

CCS onthult de nieuwste resultaten nu het 6 nieuwe wetenschappelijke expedities heeft afgerond in 2022 over de hele Kleine Antillen. Uit de bevindingen blijkt dat onze wateren zeer rijk, maar bedreigd zijn. Er zijn meer gegevens nodig om deze hulpbron, een van de pijlers van onze blauwe economie, beter te beschermen. Dankzij de samenwerking tijdens de expedities zijn in twee jaar tijd 437 waarnemingen van 21 soorten geregistreerd, waaronder 202 waarnemingen van jonge dieren.

Photo credit WWF-NL

“Ti Whale An Nou” (Onze kleine walvissen) is het grootste walvisonderzoeksprogramma dat ooit in het Caribisch gebied is uitgevoerd. Het is in de eerste plaats een lokaal project, geleid en uitgevoerd door gemotiveerde West-Indiërs, inclusief mensen uit de eilanden van de Nederlandse Cariben, die bezorgd zijn over het behoud van hun eilanden. Verschillende medewerkers van Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA), STINAPA Bonaire, Nature Foundation St. Maarten, Aruba National Park Foundation, het DCNA secretariaat and  WWF-NL versterkten het team van CCS voor deze expeditie. Aangezien walvisachtigen geen menselijke grenzen erkennen, is samenwerking essentieel om ze te bestuderen en te beschermen. Daarom heeft de CCS in het veld internationale deelnemers bijeengebracht, waaronder leden van de regering en beschermde zeegebieden van 9 eilanden. Ten slotte is het een essentieel instrument voor lokale capaciteitsopbouw.

Alle Caribische eilanden zijn voor hun voedsel en inkomen afhankelijk van het mariene ecosysteem, dus is het belangrijk dit te beschermen. Walvissen en dolfijnen spelen een essentiële rol bij het in goede staat houden van onze ecosystemen. Zij zijn de pijlers van onze blauwe economie. Uit de laatste resultaten van de CCS blijkt echter dat meer dan de helft (52%) van de in 2021 waargenomen walvisachtigen littekens van antropogene oorsprong heeft. Dat wil zeggen, sporen van propellers, netten, botsingen, enz. toegebracht door de mens. Door het huidige gebrek aan gegevens kunnen we ons natuurlijk erfgoed niet doeltreffend beschermen. Daarom gaat de CCS door met het organiseren van inventarisaties op alle eilanden. Dit is een primeur op het gebied van duurzame samenwerking en bescherming van walvisachtigen in het Caribisch gebied.

Photo credit: WWF-NL

Deze acties zijn mogelijk dankzij de steun van partners: WWF-NL, Corail Caraïbes, het Parc Naturel régional de la Martinique, de EDF Group Foundation, Orange Caraïbes, SARA, DCNA, het Animal Welfare Institute, de regio Guadeloupe, de Collectivité territoriale de Martinique, en Blue Marine Foundation.

 

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Papiamentu

Mamíferonnan marino den Karibe: un rikesa menasá den nos awanan

Den e último dos añanan Caribbean Cetacean Society (CCS) a bin ta studia setáseonan (bayena i dòlfein) den Antia Menor ku sosten di Wereld Natuur Fonds (WWF-NL), Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) i otro partnernan.

Photo credit WWF-NL

CCS ta revelá e último resultadonan, awor ku resientemente nan a kompletá 6 ekspedishon sientífiko nobo den  2022, kubriendo tur e islanan di Antia Menor. E resultadonan ta mustra ku nos awanan ta hopi riku, pero nan ta ser menasá. Tin mester di mas dato pa por protehá mihó e rekurso importante akí, ku ta un di e pilánan di nos ekonomia blou. Danki na e trabou di kooperashon ku a ser hasí durante e ekspedishonnan, por a hasi 437 opservashon di 21 espesie den 2 aña, inkluyendo 202 opservashon di animalnan yòng.

“Ti Whale An Nou” (Nos propio bayenanan chikí) ta e programa di mas grandi ku a yega di ser kondusí pa  studia setáseonan den Karibe. E ta na promé lugá un proyekto lokal, guiá i ehekutá pa karibensenan motivá, inkluso hendenan di e islanan di Karibe Hulandes, kendenan ta preokupá tokante konservashon di nan islanan. Diferente empleado di Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA), STINAPA Bonaire, Nature Foundation St. Maarten, Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba, DCNA i WWF-NL ta forma parti di e tim di CCS pa e ekspedishon akí.

Pasobra setáseonan no por rekonosé fronteranan humano, kooperashon ta esensial pa studia i protehá nan. Ta p’esei CCS a trese huntu partisipantenen internashonal riba e tereno akí, inkluso miembronan di gobièrnu i di   organisashonnan ku ta manehá áreanan marino protehá di 9 diferente isla. Finalmente, e ta un hèrmènt esensial pa desaroyo di kapasidat lokal.

Tur e islanan di Karibe ta dependé di e ekosistema marino pa nan kuminda i entrada, pues ta importante pa protehá esaki. Bayena i dòlfein ta hunga un ròl esensial den mantené e bon kondishon di nos ekosistemanan. Nan ta pilánan di nos ekonomia blou. Sinembargo, e último resultadonan di CCS ta mustra ku mas ku mitar (52%) di e setáseonan opservá na 2021 tin sikatrisnan di orígen antropogéniko. Esei kiermen rastronan di propèler, reda, dalmentu, èts. ku a ser kousá pa hende. E falta di dato ku tin aktualmente no ta pèrmití nos pa protehá nos herensia natural di manera efektivo. Ta p’esei CCS ta sigui organisá ekspedishon pa hasi inventario na tur e islanan. Esaki ta e promé inisiativa pa loke ta trata akshon sostenibel di kooperashon i protekshon di setáseonan den region di Karibe.

Photo credit: WWF-NL

E akshonnan akí ta posibel danki na sosten di e partnernan: WWF-NL, Corail Caraïbes, Parc Naturel régional de la Martinique, EDF Group Foundation, Orange Caraïbes, SARA, DCNA, Animal Welfare Institute, region di Guadeloupe, Collectivité territoriale de Martinique, i Blue Marine Foundation.

 

 

 

 

Published in BioNews 58.

 

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten

Sixth Caribbean marine expedition ‘Ti Whale An Nou 2022’ taking place this month

Nederlands and Papiamentu below.

Organized by CCS with the support of WWF and DCNA

As of August 15th through August 30th, the sixth joint scientific expedition of the Ti Whale An Nou program for 2022 is taking place in the Caribbean Sea. Ti Whale An Nou means “our own little whales” in French Caribbean Creole. The expedition started in Martinique and covers a total of eleven Caribbean islands during this journey. The objective of the research expedition is to improve the conservation of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) in the Lesser Antilles.

Humpback whale. Photo credit: Gabriel Dizzi

This expedition is organized by the Caribbean Cetacean Society (CCS) with the support of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA). Eleven participants representing WWF, DCNA and the Protected Area Management Organizations of the different islands are led by two cetacean experts of CCS during the two-week expedition. The team is traveling from Martinique to Anguilla and back, passing Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Statia, Saba, St. Maarten, and St. Barts along the way.

The goals of the expedition are to obtain knowledge of the diversity and distribution of the various cetacean species and their relative abundance, as well as get to know more about the threats facing them. Most of these threats are caused by human activities and can include collisions with ships, entanglement in fishing gear, hunting, underwater noise pollution, harassment, and plastic pollution.

Photo credit: Richard Sagredo

The expedition will also focus on improving capacity building in the Caribbean by training the several representatives of the Protected Area Management Organizations to conduct marine mammal science. During the expedition several activities will be conducted such as acoustic recording and tracking of the species, visual surveys and photo identification. In addition, environmental data will be collected together with data on threats such as boat traffic. This is the sixth expedition of this year, thereby covering all the islands of the Lesser Antilles. The Ti Whale An Nou program started in 2021, making this the second year in a row in which a full monitoring of the region is done.

The importance of this expedition is rooted in the fact that whales have a huge value for the planet’s ecosystem. They capture four times more carbon dioxide than the amazon forest, and therefore they are an important tool in the fight against climate change. Data gathered during this expedition will assist in increasing knowledge on how to better protect these valuable marine mammals.

 

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Nederlands

Zesde Caribische zee-expeditie 'Ti Whale An Nou 2022' vindt deze maand plaats

Georganiseerd door CCS met de steun van WWF en DCNA

 

Van 15 tot en met 30 augustus vindt de zesde gezamenlijke wetenschappelijke expeditie van het Ti Whale An Nou programma voor 2022 plaats in de Caribische Zee. Ti Whale An Nou betekent “onze eigen kleine walvissen” in het Frans-Caribisch Creools. De expeditie is in Martinique gestart en bestrijkt tijdens deze reis in totaal elf Caribische eilanden. Het doel van de onderzoeksexpeditie is de verbetering van de instandhouding van walvisachtigen (walvissen, dolfijnen en bruinvissen) in de Kleine Antillen.

Foto: Gabriel Dizzi

Deze expeditie wordt georganiseerd door de Caribbean Cetacean Society (CCS) met steun van het Wereld Natuur Fonds (WWF) en de Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA). Elf deelnemers die het WWF, DCNA en de beheersorganisaties voor beschermde gebieden van de verschillende eilanden vertegenwoordigen, worden tijdens de twee weken durende expeditie geleid door twee walvisachtigenexperts van de CCS. Het team reist van Martinique naar Anguilla en terug, en passeert onderweg Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Kitts en Nevis, Statia, Saba, St. Maarten, en St. Barths.

Het doel van de expeditie is kennis te verwerven over de diversiteit en de verspreiding van de verschillende walvissoorten en hun relatieve abundantie, alsmede meer te weten te komen over de bedreigingen waarmee zij worden geconfronteerd. De meeste van deze bedreigingen worden veroorzaakt door menselijke activiteiten en kunnen bestaan uit aanvaringen met schepen, verstrikking in vistuig, jacht, geluidshinder onder water, intimidatie en plasticverontreiniging.

Foto: Richard Sagredo

De expeditie zal ook gericht zijn op de verbetering van de capaciteitsopbouw in het Caribisch gebied door de verschillende vertegenwoordigers van de beheersorganisaties voor beschermde gebieden op te leiden in de wetenschap van zeezoogdieren. Tijdens de expeditie zullen verschillende activiteiten worden uitgevoerd, zoals akoestische registratie en het volgen van de soorten, visuele surveys en foto-identificatie. Bovendien zullen milieugegevens worden verzameld samen met gegevens over bedreigingen zoals het scheepvaartverkeer. Dit is de zesde expeditie van dit jaar, en daarbij zijn nu alle eilanden van de Kleine Antillen bestreken. Het Ti Whale An Nou-programma is in 2021 van start gegaan, waardoor dit het tweede jaar op rij is waarin een volledige monitoring van de regio wordt uitgevoerd.

Het belang van deze expeditie is geworteld in het feit dat walvissen een enorme waarde hebben voor het ecosysteem van de planeet. Ze leggen vier keer meer koolstofdioxide vast dan het Amazonewoud en zijn daarom een belangrijk instrument in de strijd tegen de klimaatverandering. De gegevens die tijdens deze expeditie worden verzameld, zullen bijdragen tot een betere kennis van de manier waarop deze waardevolle zeezoogdieren beter kunnen worden beschermd.

 

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Papiamentu

Organisá pa CCS ku sosten di WWF and DCNA

 

For di 15 te ku 30 di ougùstùs, e di seis ekspedishon sientífiko konhunto di e programa di Ti Whale An Nou pa 2022 ta tumando lugá den Laman Karibe. Ti Whale An Nou ta nifiká “nos propio bayenanan chikí” na kreol franses karibense. E ekspedishon a kuminsá na Martinique i ta kubri un total di 11 isla karibense durante e biahe akí. E ophetivo di e ekspedishon investigativo akí ta pa mehorá konservashon di setáseonan (bayena i dòlfein) na Antia Menor (Kleine Antillen).

Foto: Gabriel Dizzi

E ekspedishon akí ta ser organisá pa Caribbean Cetacean Society (CCS) ku sosten di Wereld Natuur Fonds (WWF) i Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA). Diesun partisipante ku ta representá WWF, DCNA i e organisashonnan ku ta manehá áreanan protehá di e diferente islanan, ta ser guiá pa dos eksperto di setáseo di CCS durante e ekspedishon akí di dos siman. E tim ta biahando di Martinique pa Anguilla i bèk, pasando Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, Statia, Saba, St. Maarten, i St. Barths na kaminda.

E metanan di e ekspedishon ta pa haña konosementu di e diversidat i distribushon di e diferente espesienan di setáseo i tambe haña sa mas tokante e menasanan ku nan ta konfrontá. Mayoria di e menasanan akí ta kousá pa aktividatnan humano i ta inkluí entre otro dalmentu den barku, pegamentu den materialnan di piska, yagmentu, kontaminashon dor di zonido bou di awa, i polushon di plèstik.

Foto: Richard Sagredo

E ekspedishon lo enfoká tambe riba mehorashon di desaroyo di kapasidat den Karibe dor di entrená e diferente representantenan di e organisashonnan ku ta manehá áreanan protehá, pa nan por praktiká siensia pa loke ta trata ‘zoogdieren’ marino. Durante e ekspedishon lo kondusí diferente aktividat manera grabashon akústiko, siguimentu di e espesienan, estudionan visual i identifikashon fotográfiko. Tambe lo kolektá datonan ambiental huntu ku dato tokante menasanan manera tráfiko di boto. Esaki ta e di seis ekspedishon p’e aña akí, i asina a logra kubri tur e islanan di Antia Menor. E programa di Ti Whale An Nou a kuminsá na 2021, pues esaki ta e di dos aña konsekutivo den kual ta realisá un opservashon di e region kompleto.

E importansia di e ekspedishon akí ta ankrá den e echo ku bayenanan tin un balor enorme p’e ekosistema di nos planeta. Nan ta kapturá kuater biaha mas tantu dióksido di karbono (CO2) kompará ku e selva di Amazona, i p’esei nan ta un hèrmènt importante den e lucha kontra kambio di klima. Datonan ku ser kolektá durante e ekspedishon lo yuda pa oumentá konosementu tokante kon pa protehá e tan balioso ‘zoogdieren’ marino akí mas mihó.

 

 

 

Published in BioNews 57.

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Saba
Saba bank
St. Maarten
Author

Second whale and dolphin research program in the Caribbean

Nederlands and Papiamentu below

 

The whale and dolphin research program  Ti Whale An Nou started March 25, 2022 and the objective is to study the diversity, distribution and quantity of whales and dolphins in the Caribbean. Six scientific expeditions of 15 days will take place between March and September 2022. The results will be used to determine what is needed to protect these large mammals. This expedition is coordinated by the Caribbean Cetacean Society (CCS) and is made possible thanks to several partners. 

Fraser’s dolphin. Photo source: Caribbean Cetacean Society

First sightings

The name of the research project Ti Whale An Nou is a mixture of French and English Creole and it means ‘our little whales’. The first expedition of this year was recently finalized. In 12 days CCS encountered 9 species from Martinique to Grenada. The research team followed a group of orcas in St. Vincent and they could also study Fraser’s dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins, pilot whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, dwarf sperm whales, pygmy killer whales, beaked whales.

Unfortunately CCS also took notice that 18 pilot whales were killed in St. Vincent on the last day of the expedition. This horrifying news affirms the importance of protecting marine mammals. The next expedition will take place from the 15th until 27th of April and will focus on the islands from Martinique to Montserrat.

Orca. Photo source: Caribbean Cetacean Society

Capacity building

The third expedition will be from May 17 to June 1 and it is open for candidates from the Dutch Caribbean to participate. Inhabitants from the Caribbean are invited to make use of the unique opportunity to join the research team of Ti Whale An Nou onboard for the expedition to learn more about their work and to contribute to this important research project. The team will study the zone from Montserrat to Anguilla, covering Sint Maarten, Statia, Saba and the Saba Bank. The goal of the expedition is also to do capacity building to improve the skills of local people to study whales and dolphins.

Importance for other Caribbean islands

This research program will provide an understanding of the migration routes of marine mammals and therefore an opportunity to improve the protection of these animals. A stable population of whales and dolphins is an indication of healthy oceans. In healthy oceans, fish stocks are stable which is important for the fisheries and the economy on the islands. Furthermore, whales play a significant role in capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Each great whale isolates an estimated 33 tons of CO2 on average, thus playing their part in the fight against climate change.

This research mission receives great support by the World Wide Fund for Nature – The Netherlands, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Corail Caraibes, Orange, the EDF Group Foundation, Animal Wellfare Institute, and Parc Naturel Régional de la Martinique, Région Guadeloupe and Collectivité Territoriale de la Martinique

Sperm whale. Photo source: Caribbean Cetacean Society

Results 2021

Last year this research project was conducted for the first time. 17 species were identified, 191 visual detections recorded, more than 10. 000 individuals studied and 29 families of sperm whales were encountered in 2021. Furthermore, there were acoustic recordings of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the West Indies and first photo identification of this species in Martinique. CCS also observed the rare species pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) in the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary, around Saba, Saba Bank, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius. This study was a first step to shed light on cetaceans in the Caribbean.

All results can be found at https://www.ccs-ngo.com/ti-whale-an-nou.

 

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Nederlands

Tweede Walvis en dolfijn onderzoeksprogramma in het Caribisch gebied

 

De walvis en dolfijn onderzoeksprogramma Ti Whale An Nou is op 25 maart 2022 van start gegaan. De expeditie staat in het teken van het in kaart brengen van de diversiteit, de migratie en het aantal walvissen en dolfijnen in het Caribisch gebied. Tussen maart en september 2022 vinden zes wetenschappelijke expedities van 15 dagen plaats. Op basis van de resultaten kan worden vastgesteld wat er nodig is voor een betere bescherming van deze grote zeezoogdieren. De expeditie wordt gecoördineerd door Caribbean Cetacean Society en wordt mogelijk gemaakt door verschillende partners.

Fraser’s dolphin. Foto van Caribbean Cetacean Society

Eerste waarnemingen

De naam van het onderzoeksproject Ti Whale An Nou is een combinatie van Frans en Engels Creools en het betekent onze kleine walvissen. Onlangs is de eerste expeditie van dit jaar afgerond. In 12 dagen registreerde CCS 9 soorten van Martinique tot Grenada. Het onderzoeksteam volgde een groep orka’s in St. Vincent en ze konden ook Fraser-dolfijnen, pantropische gevlekte dolfijnen, grienden, bultruggen, potvissen, dwerg potvissen, dwerg orka’s en spitssnuitdolfijnen bestuderen.

Op de laatste dag van de expeditie merkte CCS helaas ook op dat 18 grienden werden gedood in St. Vincent. Dit gruwelijke nieuws bevestigt het belang van de bescherming van zeezoogdieren. De volgende expeditie vindt plaats van 15 tot 27 april en zal zich concentreren op de eilanden van Martinique tot Montserrat.

Orca. Foto van Caribbean Cetacean Society

Capaciteitsopbouw 

De derde expeditie vindt plaats van 17 mei tot 1 juni en staat open voor kandidaten uit Caribisch Nederland. Bewoners in het Caribisch gebied kunnen gebruik maken van de unieke kans om zich bij het onderzoeksteam van Ti Whale An Nou aan boord van de expeditie toe te voegen om te leren over hun werk en om bij te dragen aan dit belangrijke onderzoeksproject. Het team gaat de zone van Montserrat tot Anguilla bestuderen, die Sint Maarten, Statia, Saba en de Saba Bank omvat. Het doel van de expeditie is ook om capaciteitsopbouw te doen om de vaardigheden van lokale mensen om walvissen en dolfijnen te bestuderen te verbeteren.

Belang voor andere Caribische eilanden

Door dit onderzoek komt er inzicht in de migratieroutes van de zeezoogdieren en daarmee biedt het een kans om deze dieren beter te beschermen. Een stabiele populatie walvissen en dolfijnen is in een indicatie van gezonde oceanen. In gezonde oceanen is de visstand ook op peil en dat is van belang voor de visserij alsmede de economie op de eilanden. Bovendien spelen walvissen een belangrijke rol bij het vastleggen van koolstofdioxide (CO2) uit de atmosfeer. Elke grote walvis isoleert naar schatting gemiddeld 33 ton CO2 en speelt zo een rol in de strijd tegen klimaatverandering.

Deze onderzoeksmissie ontvangt enorme steun van het Wereld Natuur Fonds, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Corail Caraibes, Orange, EDF Group Foundation, Animal Wellfare Institute, en Parc Naturel Régional de la Martinique.

Sperm whale. Foto van Caribbean Cetacean Society

Resultaten 2021

Vorig jaar is dit onderzoeksproject voor het eerst uitgevoerd. In 2021 werden 17 soorten geïdentificeerd, 191 visuele waarnemingen geregistreerd en 29 families potvissen geobserveerd. Verder waren er akoestische opnamen van orka’s (Orcinus orka) in West-Indië en de eerste foto-identificatie van deze soort in Martinique. CCS heeft ook de zeldzame soort pygmee-orka (Feresa attenuata) waargenomen in het Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary, rond Saba, Saba Bank, St. Maarten en St. Eustatius. Deze studie was een eerste stap om een situatie te schetsen over walvisachtigen in het Caribisch gebied. Alle resultaten zijn te vinden op https://www.ccs-ngo.com/ti-whale-an-nou.

 

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Papiamentu

Di dos programa di investigashon di bayena i dòlfein den Karibe

E programa di investigashon di bayena i dòlfein Ti Whale An Nou a kuminsá riba 25 di mart 2022. E ekspedishon ta trese dilanti e diversidat, migrashon i kantidat di bayena i dòlfein den Karibe. Entre mart i sèptèmber 2022 tin 6 ekspedishon sientífiko di 15 dia lo tuma lugá. A base di e resultadonan por ser konstatá kiko ta nesesario pa brinda un mihó protekshon na e mamíferonan marítimo grandi aki. E ekspedishon ta ser kordiná dor di Caribbean Cetacean Society i hasí posibel dor di diferente partner.

Fraser’s dolphin. Foto di Caribbean Cetacean Society

Promé observashonnan

E nòmber di e proyekto di investigashon ta un kombinashon di kreol franses i ingles i ta nifiká nos bayenanan chikí. Resientemente e promé ekspedishon a finalisá. Den 12 dia CCS a registrá 9 sorto entre Martinique ku Grenada. E tim di investigashon a sigui un grupo di Orka na St. Vincent i nan por a observá tambe diferente otro tipo di bayena i dòlfein manera ‘Fraser-dolfijnen, pantropische gevlekte dolfijnen, grienden, bultruggen, potvissen, dwerg potvissen, dwerg orka’s’.

Riba e último dia por a nota tambe ku 18 bayena a ser matá na St.Vincent. E notisia kruel aki ta konfirmá e importansia di protehá mamalnan marítimo. E siguiente ekspedishon lo tuma lugá di 15 pa 27 di aprel i lo ta konsentrá riba e islanan entre Martinique ku Montserrat.

Orka. Foto di Caribbean Cetacean Society

Desaroyo di kapasidat

E di tres ekspedishon lo tuma lugá di 17 di mei pa promé di yüni i ta habrí pa kantidatonan di Karibe Hulandes. Habitantenan di Karibe Hulandes por hasi uso di e oportunidat úniko pa forma parti di e tim di ekspedishon di Ti Whale An Noun a bordo pa asina siña di e trabou ku nan ta hasi i tambe pa kontribuí na e proyekto di investigashon importante aki. E tim ta bai studia e zona entre Montserrat ku Anguilla, ku ta enserá e islanan Sint Maarten, Statia, Saba i e Saba Bank. E meta di e ekspedishon ta tambe pa desaroyá kapasidat pa mehorá e abilidatnan di personanan lokal pa por studia bayena i dòlfèin.

Importansha pa islanan di karibe

Dor di e investigashon aki ta bin bista riba e rutanan di migrashon di e mamíferonan marítimo i e ta brinda di e forma aki e posibilidat pa por protehá e animalnan mihó. Un populashon stabil di bayena i dòlfein ta un indikashon di e un oséano saludabel. Den oséanonan saludabel tin tambe un bon kantidat di piská den e awanan kual ta di importansia pa peska. I esaki ta importante pa ekonomia di e islanan. Ademas bayenanan ta hunga un ròl grandi den saka karbodióksido (CO2) for di atmósfera. Kada bayena grandi ta isolá un promedio di 33 tonelada di karbodióksido i ta hunga un ròl den e lucha kontra kambio di klima. E mishon di investigashon ta risibí sosten grandi di Wereld Natuur Fonds, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Corail Caraibes, Orange, EDF Group Foundation, Animal Wellfare Institute, en Parc Naturel Régional de la Martinique.

Sperm whale. Foto di Caribbean Cetacean Society

Resultadonan 2021

Aña pasá a hasi e proyekto di investigashon aki pa promé bia. Den 2021 a identifiká 17 sorto, a registrá 191 observashon visual i 29 famia di ‘potvis’. Banda di esaki tabata tin grabashon akústiko di orka (Orcinus orka) na India oeste i e promé identifikashon di e sorto aki na Martinique. CCS a mira tambe un sorto skars di orka (Feresa attenuate) den e Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary rondo di Saba, St. Maarten i Statia. E estudio aki tabata un promé paso pa skèts situashon di tiponan di bayena den Karibe. Por haña tur resultado riba  https://www.ccs-ngo.com/ti-whale-an-nou.

 

 

 

Published in BioNews 53

 

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

Importance of Yarari Sanctuary for Minke Whale

A new collaborative study provides new insight into how two species of minke whales utilize the Caribbean and neighboring Atlantic waters throughout their life cycle. The findings add further conservation value and significance to the relatively new Yarari marine sanctuary of the Netherlands. By combining scientific, citizen science and public information, this study provides key information which will help guide conservation efforts moving forward.

Minke whales are the smallest of the “great whales” and can be found in waters world-wide. There are actually two different species of Minke whale, the common minke whale, or northern minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and the Antarctic minke whale, or southern minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis).

Yarari Sanctuary

Minke whales are known to migrate over long distances, with both species using the warm waters of the Caribbean to breed and calf during the winter months. Within the Caribbean, there are a number of marine protected areas, such as the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary, which includes the territorial waters around Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius. In addition to providing vital protection of the marine ecosystem, the Yarari Sanctuary is used to help focus research for greater insight into the life cycles and migration patterns of both resident and migratory species. Understanding how these species travel during the year and use Caribbean waters is critical in designing effective conservation plans in the future.

New Study

A recent study brought together a wide array of researchers and conservation groups including the Institute of Environmental Sciences from Leiden University and the Aruba Marine Mammal Foundation. This study reviewed literature, citizen science and scientific records to compile spatial and temporal data for both species of minke whales. The goal of the study was to learn more about how these species use the Wider Caribbean Area throughout their life cycles.

In total, 130 records were collected, most of which were from scientific studies (100) and the rest from citizen science (30). Minke whales are notoriously inquisitive, frequently approaching boats, which makes them the perfect species to be spotted by citizen scientists. Improvements in civilian camera equipment, and increased initiatives to record and share biodiversity observations on social networks and public databases have led to a recent surge in citizen science reports for all species.

Findings

Photo credit: Hans Verdaat

This study was able to integrate scattered species records to provide new insights that point to the importance of the Yarari Sanctuary which lies in the center of an Eastern Caribbean wintering area for the common minke whale and thus add conservation value and significance to this relatively new marine sanctuary of the Netherlands. These new insights are in large part thanks to two previous studies conducted by Wageningen University & Research together with the Saba Bank Managing Unit and were generously funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). These latter results were aligned with similar studies and were found to be consistent with large-scale seasonal migration routes of the Minke whales.

Interestingly, this study highlighted that although it was previously believed that only the northern minke whale used the Gulf of Mexico, there were confirmed stranding incidents involving both species. Furthermore, the fact that there were strandings of minke whales throughout the year suggested that some whales stay year-round within the Gulf.

Report your Sightings

Every sighting can provide useful data that can contribute to the understanding needed to protect these species. Help further conservation efforts by reporting your (minke) whale (or other species) sightings and photos on the website Observation.org or download the free app (iPhone (iObs) & Android (ObsMapp)). These tools are available in over 40 languages and can be used by biologists, citizens and tourists alike.

For more information you can find the full report on the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database by clicking the button below.

https://www.dcbd.nl/document/spatial-temporal-distribution-minke-whales-...

 

Article published in BioNews 46

 

Date
2021
Data type
Media
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

Recommendations for avoiding collisions with humpback whales in the Dutch Caribbean

A new study from the Aeres University of Applied Sciences combined expert knowledge and an analysis of historical data concerning whale ship strikes.  The goal was to provide a list of recommendations to avoid future collisions. As boat traffic within the Caribbean continues to increase, finding ways to minimize the fatal impacts will be vital for protecting these species in the future.

Humpback whale. Photo credit: Todd Cravens

Whales play a critical role in the ocean ecosystems.  They occupy all of the world’s oceans (from coastal areas to deep sea) and serve as an indicator of overall ocean health.  Whales help preserve healthy fish stock by eliminating weaker fish, serve as a food source for sharks and other whales and lastly provide a wealth of nutrition to the seafloor when their carcasses sink and decompose.  In this way, whales act as a pump, recirculating nutrients throughout the ocean.

Ship Strikes

There are more than twenty different species of marine mammals found throughout the Dutch Caribbean. Overall, impact between whales and ships within these waters is probably low, however poor tracking and limited information has made it difficult to fully grasp this issue.  There is one recorded incident, from 2000, where Bonaire’s harbor master reported a Bryde’s whale pinned to the front of an incoming ship’s bow.  The ship’s crew was unaware until notified by the harbor master.

Boat traffic in the Caribbean is significant.  Heavy commercial traffic along with one third of all of the world’s cruise boat tourists puts migrating humpback whales at risk for collision.  Four students, Laetitia Geraets, Nehis Osagie, Tamara Raven and Angélica Verschragen, from the Aeres University of Applied Sciences in Almere, Netherlands are looking to shed light on the problem of ship strikes with humpback whales. The goal of the study was to examine past collision reports to offer insight into ways to reduce or prevent ship strikes in the future.

Results

Humpback whale. Photo credit: Mike Doherty

They discovered that an average of thirty whales are killed each year due to ship collisions, which has nearly doubled when compared to five years ago.  This is predominately due to a significant overlap of whale migration routes and shipping lanes, high speeds of vessels and the fact that lactating whales spend more time at shallow depths making them vulnerable to collision (particularly within calving grounds such as near the windward Dutch Caribbean islands).

They suggest developing and implementing a reporting system with the coast guard, while simultaneously establishing speed limits within Dutch waters and temporary precautionary zones around areas with recent whale sightings. Ultimately, they propose the use of an app which will allow individuals to report sightings and also provide timely recommendations to captains.  To ensure participation, they suggest a label be given to vessels which are compliant with all the rules and who actively use the app.  This label would help promote mindfulness along important whale migration areas.

Through an increased awareness and the creation of safe spaces such as the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary, we can all work together to protect these vital species in the future. You can help contribute to our overall understanding of these species by reporting any sightings on Observation.org and by supporting and encouraging whale safe practices.

 

https://www.dcbd.nl/document/humpback-whales-and-shipping-collisions-dut...

 

 

Article published in BioNews 44

Date
2021
Data type
Media
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

On the spatial-temporal distribution of the minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata and B. bonaerensis) in the Wider Caribbean Region and adjacent western tropical North Atlantic

Abstract
Until recently, minke whale sightings in the northern Atlantic Ocean (NA) were thought to belong
exclusively to the common species Balaenoptera acutorostrata (CMW). Historical records confirm
the presence of the CMW in the north-eastern Caribbean Sea during the winter months. However,
the Antarctic minke whale (B. bonaerensis) (AMW) has been recently confirmed in the NA and
Gulf of Mexico. We review and summarize the available records of both species to shed light on
their spatial–temporal occurrence in the Wider Caribbean Region and adjacent NA (WCR-NA).
We revised the literature, searched the internet (social networks and video-hosting websites),
downloaded records available in biodiversity platforms, and added visual and acoustical records
from the authors’ files. Finally, we used oceanographic model databases to search for patterns in
spatial–temporal distribution. We collected 130 records, where 128 (98.4%) were classified as
CMW, and 2 (1.6%) as AMW. Most (100, 76.9 %) records were contributed by scientists or
scientific studies, while 30 (23.1%) stemmed from citizen-science. Records included visual
sightings (71.5%), acoustic detections (16.2%), strandings (11.5%), and direct takes (0.8%). Most
records belong to the northern Caribbean (50.0%), eastern Caribbean north of Martinique (30.8%),
the Gulf of Mexico (10.0%), and the NA (9.2%), and were collected during the winter (66.2%) and
(early) spring (28.5%) months, especially over the Caribbean upwelling season (December-March,
83.8%). Most of the CMW records correspond to three types of water masses, and also seemed to
associate with extreme climatic events such as El Niño/La Niña. Calves/juveniles were recorded
only on 6 occasions (4.6%). Low primary productivity during migration may limit feeding
opportunities for these whales. Increases in large-scale visual and acoustical surveys, and citizenbased
initiatives has resulted in better availability of minke whale records within the study area.
Our review confirms the WCR-NA as a wintering ground of North Atlantic CMW.

Date
2021
Data type
Research report
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Report number
SC/68C/NH/01
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten