This year we have partnered with Superyacht skippers and crew, based in Antigua and Barbuda, to gain vitally important information on whales and dolphins around the region, and in the deep ocean.
Andy Williams briefing crew members from 3 superyachts aboard MY Grey Matters, © MARINElife
Our trustee, founder and former Research Director, Andy Williams gave a presentation aboard the MY Grey Matters in Falmouth Harbour (Antigua) on Thursday 12th April 2017. Andy gave an overview of the species that the vessels might encounter, how to identify the animals, and how to record the information to contribute to MARINElife's ongoing research.
As the Caribbean sailing season draws to an end, many of these yachts will travel across the Atlantic, or up the eastern seaboard of America, covering thousands of miles of ocean. We, and those who took part, hope this will be the start of a long and productive initiative.
Andy Williams said of the collaboration, "Throughout the nearly 25 years of MARINElife, we have a history of innovative research, and are leaders in the area of citizen science for offshore research. Using Platforms of Opportunity like ferries, sailing vessels and now Super Yachts we have discovered, located, and been able to study rare beaked whales, and make significant discoveries about whale and dolphin distribution and relative abundance. All this data is used to publish in the scientific literature, to support governments in identifying areas of environmental and conservation significance, and providing the general public with information they would not otherwise have."
Andy Burridge, Captain of the MY Grey Matters, said, "We are very pleased to be supporting the work of MARINElife. Of course, our first job while we are at sea is the safety of the ship, but our crew are highly vigilant, and with the training they have received today I have no doubt we will be able to provide some good data. All the crews involved are very excited and looking forward to getting to sea now"
You can see the press release in full here.