Friday, 13 April 2012
NIMPA Surveys III
by Luis Goncalves. Luis is a Portuguese MMO (marine mammal observer) who has been working in Angola on some of the seismic ships up there. He decided to come join our team for a month and help us observer marine mammals in Namibia. You've got to love people who take a break from whale watching to come watch whales :)
The next few lines tell my experience while volunteering with the Namibian Dolphin Project.
Going there was something that was in my head for a few years now. More or less the same amount of time that I’ve been following the project and the things that they’ve been doing through their blog. I always found Namibia a very interesting country to visit and joining that with the opportunity of doing some work with marine mammals was the perfect combination.
The two project head persons (Simon and Tess) are both very nice and they make every effort possible to put you at ease and to let you try a little bit of everything from what composes their work and research. During my time with them we were based in a small coastal town in the South of Namibia called Luderitz. The main goal there was to investigate the distribution, abundance and population dynamics of whales and dolphins within the Namibian Islands Marine Protected Area (NIMPA) using both visual and acoustic surveys. Most of the NIMPA region is full of wildlife, especially the islands them selves so, needless to say that, it was a complete joy every time that we went out to sea! On top of this, I had the chance to share very nice thoughts and conversations about Biology and life in general with the rest of the team members and helpers.
To conclude, if anyone is thinking in going there to give them a hand, don’t even dare to think twice. Just go! You will not regret it. Luis
Mainly what we've seen is dusky dolphins - you hardly ever see them up in Walvis Bay so it's been great to see so many of the guys down this way. Some pics below as well as "Bertie" - a minke whale that was semi resident in Luderitz Bay for a few months, but seems to have moved on now.