- Photo-identification project for dolphins and whales on the Catalan coast.
- Sea Friends project.
Why was it created?
Cetacea Association was born in August 2012 with the aim of protecting, conserving and investigating the Catalan coast. Through our activities, we hope to do our bit to preserve the marine ecosystem and the species in it, among other organizations’ and people’s work.
With these objectives, a group of people who have worked in the marine sector decided to create the Association.
- A project consisting in photo-identifying the different cetacean species which we found in the central Catalan coast. With that, we can understand which movements these mammals do in the water.
- A civic participation project in which sea-related people, such as fishers or ship captains, as well as people who navigate, send us GPS positions where they spot dolphins and whales. This helps us to pick up loads of new and very useful information to protect these animals.
- Cetacean population’s conservation.
- Make the marine biodiversity we have in the Mediterranean public.
- Educate the population in order to conserve this wealth.
- We want to increase our number of trips because it would enable us to increase the number of people who could enjoy this experience.
- We are developing activities for the little ones, which help them to understand the importance of the sea and its inhabitants.
A good habit
To reduce plastic use. In ALL our trips we see plastic in the sea, and if we see it, dolphins and whales also see it, and they even eat it. Plastic use has to be reduced, and the little amount used should be reused to its full extent.
A disturbing reflection
This year we have started a process to evaluate our trips in order to improve them, and with these evaluations, we ask people if they knew, before meeting us, the presence of dolphins and whales in the Mediterranean sea. The 50% of people accompanying us did not know there are whales and dolphins in our sea. We think this situation cannot persist, people have to know this information because, only if they know we have dolphins and whales, we will be able to protect these animals as they deserve.
How can I help?
There are different possibilities to help us:
- To accompany us to one of our sailing boat trips to see dolphins and whales.
- To become a member, which helps the development of the activities done in the entity.
- To become a volunteer for the photo-identification project.
- To give a donation.
Sources of funding
Basically, our sources of funding are from private citizens who give little donations, with which we can organise our project trips.
I will explain two of them:
- During a trip we saw a group of dolphins swimming in formation, avoiding quite a lot the sailing boat, and we could not follow it that much. We could only get a couple of photos to identify them. With the posterior analysis, we detected it was a group of Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis), which is a really strange species in the Mediterranean sea.
- During a trip, in the distance, we saw what it seemed a Risso’s Dolphin, as it was grey, even practically white. People were really excited, as it a species which is rarely seen. When we were near it, it turned out to be a lost ship’s mattress, and we took it. Sadly, it was not a dolphin, but it highlighted the pollution which the Mediterranean sea suffers.
Currently, we do not own a physical headquarters, a place to develop our logistical and investigation activities. We do everything voluntarily at home. So a little dream of our own is to have a place to work, save material, attend people or host meetings.
A reflection for hope
We currently have a very long waiting list to sail with us. This shows us that the interest in learning, seeing or enjoying dolphins and whales respectfully and without having them in captivity is exponentially increasing.