APRIL 2012 – ECOBAC FRIEND NEWSLETTERS
Dear Friends and Collaborators:
He finished one more season of whales. This season was a very special season full of surprises, new projects and successes.
Now we are cataloging all the photographic material and data that we have gathered this season and we are also working on new projects for the next season.
Below I send you a brief report of this season 2011-2012. Thanks for your support!
PREVENTION, INFORMATION AND MONITORING OF JOROBED WHALES IN BAHÍA DE BANDERAS
We made 10 exits with the support of Opequimar Centro Marino and with the participation of the 8th. Naval area. The tours were mainly carried out on holiday bridges and weekends, which is when maritime traffic increases. As you will remember, the objective of this project is to promote good navigation practices during the whale season, as well as to disseminate the NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010 that establishes guidelines for whale watching and encourage the proper follow-up, thus avoiding the harassment of the whales, and the “pirate” vessels (tourist without authorization for whale watching). From the first departures people began to identify the boat “La Pangona” and most retreated or corrected their distance to see us.
To make the tours more efficient, we send some canvases indicating the minimum distance to keep with the whales.
We distributed 1,000 flyers with information on good navigation practices and the NOM-131 during the tours, at the Opequimar gas station and at the gas station of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.
One of the conclusions we reached is that boats, especially private ones, do not know how to look for whales and only look for boats, and that is why numerous groups of boats are formed, harassing only one group of whales, when there are more whales around.
Due to the success obtained during this season we consider that this program should continue and, if possible, make more than 10 departures during each whale season. We are working to try to raise funds to achieve it!
We want to thank all the people who participated and made possible the tours of the Prevention, Information and Monitoring of Humpback Whales in Bahía de Banderas, to authorized tour operators who supported us with their donation; to captains Fernando and Alfredo, to Erica Flores, César Villanueva and Carlos Verjan de Opequimar; Lieutenants Vidal, Lozano and Prudente; to Paty Cerrillo and Francisco Cuevas; especially Frank Mc Cann for his invaluable work during all tours and Eduardo Legorreta and Enrique Tron for providing us the boat “La Pangona”!
JOROBAL WHALE LOGS FEEDING IN BAHIA DE BANDERAS
As I mentioned in the previous report, this season the whales surprised us with a new behavior: they were feeding during the breeding season, something never before seen. We managed to gather 20 different records of whales feeding, on the surface and in the background. Sometimes the groups were small and in another there were more than 30 whales feeding in an area, sometimes accompanied by Bryde’s whales or sardineras and dolphins. We publish some articles about it in the magazine SPECIES de Naturalia and in the magazine Espacio Profundo. In May we will present this event before the XXXIII International Meeting for the Study of Marine Mammals.
NETWORK OF ATTENTION TO GLANDED WHALES
On January 26, 2012, 2 dead whales were found on the beaches of Litibú. One was in a high degree of decomposition and the other apparently died from a fishing gear. Normally when a whale appears dead on our shores it is likely that it takes months sick or trapped in the net and finally dies during the migration to its breeding area. It is practically impossible to know where the whale got entangled. In Mexico, in Canada or in the United States?
On April 2, a report was received of a whale entangled near Punta de Mita. The RABEN team responded to the report and tried to free the whale. Most of the network was removed, but unfortunately it could not be removed and it was not found again in the following days.
This indicates that the problem with the fishing arts is serious and these are the consequences. This is why it is very important to continue with the rescue work and continue training teams in the Mexican Pacific coast as long as it is possible to free the whales from the nets.
We will keep you informed and we will continue to act in favor of the whales. Even though the whales have already migrated to their feeding areas, we continue working so that the whales do not stop visiting our beautiful bay. We hope to continue to count on your support.
You can see more about our projects at www.whalephoto.org or follow us on Face Book.
WE APPRECIATE OUR SPONSORS
October Hill Foundation
Cascadia Research Collective
United for Conservation
Ecotours of Mexico
Astrid Frisch Jordan