A workshop providing information on the best way to identify whale and dolphin species around St. Maarten will be held at the Nature Foundation office in Cole Bay on December 3, from 1:30 to 4:00pm. Meike Scheidat and Steve Geelhoed of the Dutch research institute IMARES, which is part of Wageningen University in The Netherlands, will give a brief presentation about marine mammals in general and how to recognise local species using video and photos. The workshop also will serve as an opportunity to exchange ideas about and discuss experiences with whales and dolphins in the Caribbean, Nature Foundation explained in a press release.
Nature Foundation and Saba Conservation Foundation have an annual Marine Mammal Sighting programme in which valuable information on marine mammals around the islands has been gathered. The Caribbean is rich in whales and dolphins and many people see them, but unfortunately many sightings are not recorded. To learn more about the distribution of these marine mammals, their seasonal patterns and their numbers, the collecting and recording of sightings is important and can be done by anyone going to sea. “Every sighting is valuable, but they are even more valuable when the species is identified. Ideally, a sighting contains information on species, date, time, place, number, behaviour, calves, pictures and videos. This workshop focuses on identification of species. It will help people to identify all those small grey dolphins they encounter,” a researcher for Nature Foundation said.
The workshop is primarily for seagoing people who could encounter a whale or a dolphin, but all are welcome. Entrance is free, but persons wishing to attend are requested to send an email to manager@naturefoundationsxm. org or firstname.lastname@example.org .