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We say goodbye to the whales!

This end of whale season, we want to share some of the news and activities carried out. We conducted research outings and saw several well-know whales. We also had several RABEN rescues and even had to assist in attending strandings. We strengthened our campaign ‘Less Speed = More Lives’ to prevent collisions between vessels and whales. To end the season, we held a great inauguration event for our new mascot ‘La Bonita’, as part of our efforts to raise awareness about marine conservation. Below is a summary of our activities.


National Presentation of "La Bonita"!

On March 23rd, the whale watching season on the coasts of Jalisco and Nayarit ended, and with the objective of raising awareness about the importance of respecting and not disturbing the last remaining whales, on March 24th, we presented ‘La Bonita’ at La Cruz Market held on Sundays at the Marina Riviera Nayarit.
La Bonita is a 13-meter long inflatable whale that, in addition to its impressive size, allows visitors to explore its interior to learn about the arrangement of its organs. We named her in honor of a female whale (3BB092) that has been visiting Banderas Bay since 2002 and has had at least 5 calves.


Research doesn´t stop 2023-2024

For the fifth consecutive year, we carried out the Humpback Whale Research Monitoring in Banderas Bay. The purpose of this initiative is to document the seasonality, abundance, and distribution of whales in the bay.
We conducted monitoring from November to April, during which we recorded the type of groups, whale behavior, their geographical position, and whether there was singing activity. We also took photographs of their flukes or tails for photo-identification purposes.


Which Whales returned this year?

Through photo-identification, we are able to identify different individuals within the population, and this year we saw several known whales, including:
La Vaca, La Cobaneña & Scarlet
La Vaca has been a known whale since 2008 and has returned for several seasons, often found in courtship groups of up to 8 whales. It is very likely a male.
La Cobaneña besides being a visitor to our area, is one of the whales that migrates as far as Central America. We know it can travel as far as El Salvador, where it was given its name. We have known it since 2002, and it is a male.
Scarlet is a female we have known since 2007, easily recognizable by the scars from orca attacks on her tail fluke. We have seen her on three occasions with a calf. She’s truly a survivor!

Working to prevent collisions between vessels and whales

Collisions between whales and vessels are very dangerous for both people and whales. That’s why this year we reinforced our campaign ‘Less Speed = More Lives’.
In addition to the banners that are always placed in the marinas and boarding points of Banderas Bay and Los Cabos, this year we placed advertisements on buses on the Puerto Vallarta-Punta de Mita route during the months of January and February, and we also printed and distributed related stickers.

Cindy our ambassador for the “Less Speed=More Lives”  Campaign and “Swim for the Whales”, returned this year with a new calf. Therefore we decided to take advantage of this oportunity to create a new video, sharing the story of this whale that survived a collision and serves as an example of hope.

Seeing them free makes us happy

At to this point in the 2023-2024 season, the different RABEN teams have sprung into action and have successfully released 10 entangled whales!
The RABEN teams remain on alert and continue their work until the last whale has departed, so our mission is not yet complete.
This season brought us a surprisingly high record of whale mortality in Banderas Bay, leading us to support the stranding network by conducting three necropsies.
Stay tuned for the next newsletter with details and more information on whale disentanglement efforts. In the meantime, we share this video of the rescue on December 20, 2023, in Banderas Bay.

Stay tuned for news soon about the rescues this season!

Thanks a lot!

One of our tasks during each season is to spread good navigation practices at various points in Banderas Bay by distributing flyers with the help of our volunteers and showcasing Kuikani, our inflatable humpback calf.
This season, we are thrilled to share that we have added a new group of very enthusiastic volunteers from the University of Guadalajara CUC Campus: Salma, Brisa, Erika, Dulce, Melisa, Dana, Miranda, Ximena, Joseline, Elizabeth, Valeria, Jázmin, Doris from the KW group, Itzel Sandoval, and Jessica Saranya Eberle, in addition to our beloved volunteers from previous seasons: Isabel Morán, Azucena Enríquez, Olivia Núñez, Monserrat Servín, Mariana Vidriales, Katie Lavery, Bárbara Flores, Amy Osback, and Professor Julio Arriaga and his students from the Harkness Institute.

We appreciate all our volunteers for their support in carrying out these activities!

Special thanks

To Fundación Ecológica Biomar, Opequimar Centro Marino, PV Marine, Ecotours Vallarta, RIU Hotels and Resorts, WWF México, Nado por las Ballenas and to all the RABEN members for supporting us to make this season a complete success.

During the ‘First Swim for the Whales 2023,’ a total of $518,049.00MX was raised. As of the date (April 30, 2024), $184,503.89MX has been spent.

We want to express our deep gratitude for your generous financial support. Thanks to your contribution, we have been able to advance our mission of protecting and conserving whales during the 2023-2024 season.
The intention was to use the funds raised for the 2024-2025 season. However, new challenges arose that needed to be addressed, and they were used as follows:
  • Research: Purchase of equipment to listen to whale songs and to complete the fuel fund for sea sampling.
  • Collisions: Prevention of collisions between whales and boats. Printing of stickers (500 small and 50 large), advertisements on buses during January and February.
  • RABEN: Dingy repair, rescue outings, and attention to RABEN Movil (Phone for entanglement reports 24/7).

This remaining balance will be allocated to pre-season and during the 2024-2025 whale season activities, which is a great help. However, it is important to note that these funds will not be sufficient to cover all expenses associated with our conservation activities.

With the upcoming 2024-2025 whale season on the horizon, we need to gather more financial resources to continue our important work. Therefore, we will continue to seek additional sources of funding. We kindly ask you to consider making new donations to help us reach our goal. With your continued support, we can continue to protect these majestic creatures and ensure their preservation for future generations.

We deeply appreciate your generosity and commitment to our cause. We look forward to your valuable collaboration in the future.

The whales leave but at ECOBAC we continue working.
We need your support to continue studying and protecting these incredible creatures.

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