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Season 2019 is over and we want to share the good news!

This season 2019, was very productive, with many whales, many vigilance trips and environmental education … This is our end of season bulletin 2018-2019! We want to thank everyone for your support and for making possible to help our whales of Bahia de Banderas! 

PROTECTING WHALES IN BANDERAS BAY
For the 8th consecutive year and thanks to the support of Opequimar Marine Center, we could give continuity to “The Program of Prevention, Information, Vigilance, and Monitoring of Humpback Whales in Banderas Bay.” We managed to make 10 successful vigilance trips , thanks to the financing of the BIOMAR Foundation and the donation of Thalía Martinez, during the vigilance trips, we promoted good practices to avoid accidents and harassment of whales and provided information regarding the NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010 that establishes The guidelines for whale watching The trips were made in collaboration with the 8A Naval Zone and PROFEPA, Jalisco and Nayarit.

As in previous seasons, the highest percentage of whale sightings were those without any vessels around, which means that the vessels seek agglomerations of boats rather than whales, to find the whales easier. However, more effort should be made to search for whales to reduce the pressure of many vessels observing only one group of whales.

The most observed group were the mothers with calves and since they are the most vulnerable group, we invite the people to let them rest and to look for other groups of whales. Also courtship groups are very attractive for boaters because of the high level of surface activity of the whales, but it is very important not to interfere in their reproduction activities.

With the support of the CCTM of API, several radio announcements to remind vessels of slowing down to avoid any possible collisions. We also made advertising on social networks.

Sadly, many boats were observed performing abrupt maneuvers and sailing at high speeds near whales. It is important to take precautions to avoid collisions with the whales and any possible accidents! 

On december 28th we received the report of a calf that got ran over. Although the wounds seemed shallow, weeks later the calve was very parasitized, so we do not know if it will survive.

Jet skies continue to perform whale watching activities, which are illegal because of the type of noise generated by this activity since they disturb the whales, and also endanger their own lives and that of their companions.

Although there was a considerable increase in vessels sailing in the Bay, both from the private fleet and those authorized for whale watching, the overall behavior of the fleet has remained constant throughout the 8 years of the program, which is a cue of the success of this program, together with other environmental education programs carried out by ECOBAC and other institutions. This is why it is very important to continue monitoring and monitoring the fleet that sails in Banderas Bay to reduce the number of vessels that violate the whale watching regulations.

Other activities focused on environmental education about whale watching regulations involved in the distribution of flyers “Watch Out! Whales in the Ocean” at the gas station of Opequimar Marine Center.Other activities focused on environmental education about whale watching regulations involved in the distribution of flyers “Watch Out! Whales in the Ocean “at the gas station of Opequimar Marine Center.

Exhibition of the posters “Watch Out! Whales in the Ocean” at the Opequimar Marine Center, Puerto Vallarta and the Marine of “La Cruz de Huanaxactle”.

RESCUING WHALES
This season, thanks to the support of the whale watching fleet, 8 reports of whales were received in the Bay of Flags, of which one was false and two did not merit action, because they did not affect the life of the whale. The Network of Assistance to Entangled Whales (RABEN) at the national level successfully released 7 humpback whales in Loreto, Manzanillo, Los Cabos, Bahia de los Angeles and La Paz. Congratulations to all RABEN teams. One more season of an active one, safely and with success!

Successful rescue of a humpback whale by RABEN Bahía de los Angeles team. February 23, 2019

OTHER ACTIVITIES
Screening of the documentary “Sonic Sea” , in the Navy of the Cross of Huanacaxtle, February 18, 2019.

On April 3, 2019 we gave a talk about Humpback Whales in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. As part of the event children from the Marine made sushi and the sales went to support the ECOBAC projects.

We are very grateful to Katherina Liana and Michael Danielson
https://www.pvsailing.com/


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEFTY, A REAL HERO
The FIBB (Fotoidentification of Humpback whales in Banderas Bay) Catalog is ECOBAC first project and 23 years later, it has over 2,000 different whales identified. We share this valuable information with national and international catalogs because we are aware that it´s very important to learn more about our beloved whales in order to be able to protect them. A few years ago we started collaborating with HAPPYWHALE.org and we are proud to say that we are one of the collaborators that have contributed with more whale photos. Thanks to this collaboration we have been able to discover stories like the one of LEFTY.

This is our hero LEFTY, his FIBB code is 5BB567 and he was seen in Banderas Bay in a mating or competitive group in December 2010.

LEFTY earned his nickname since he is missing his left pectoral fin, most likely he lost it due to an entanglement. He was sighted for the first time in 2008 in California, his feeding grounds. Actually, he was seen feeding last week! The reason we say that he´s a hero is that he interfered in an Orca attack to Gray whale, Mom and calf group.LEFTY earned his nickname since he is missing his left pectoral fin, most likely he lost it due to an entanglement. He was sighted for the first time in 2008 in California, his feeding grounds. Actually, he was seen feeding last week! The reason we say that he´s a hero is that he interfered in an Orca attack to Gray whale, Mom and calf group.

Check out this BBC video, you can see a group of Orcas, known as Bigg´s or Transient, attacked a Gray whale mom with its calf and LEFTY along with another humpback try to save the calf.

COMING SOON, DON´T MISS IT!
As many already know, the International Festival of Altruism in Puerto Vallarta is close. Only two weeks and we still have tickets…if you would like to support us…Come! you will have fun, eat delicious food and win prizes! Plus, you will help many organizations. ECOBAC will use the fundings raised to purchase new tools for rescuing the whales. Help the whales and come and have fun on May 5th in the Marriot Hotel!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to the volunteers we are able to perform many of our projects, we especially want to thank Frank Mc Cann, Iyari Espinoza, Jorge Morales, Fabiola Flores, Monserrat Servin, Erik Servin, Artemio Martinez, Katie Lavery.
We greatly appreciate the invaluable support of the 8th. Naval Zone, PROFEPA, Jalisco and Nayarit Branches, and Opequimar Marine Center.
We thank the Maritime Traffic Control Center of API for the support issuing warnings to protect the whales and take precautions when sailing.
We thank Biomar Foundation for financing the fuel used for the rescue trips and RABEN rescues.
We thank all members of the RABEN teams for their work in rescuing entangled whales.
Finally, we thank all the donors for their valuable support.

¡Gracias!