WCA Partner Angie Gullan from Dolphin Encountours gives us an update from South Mozambique.
‘Greetings from South Mozambique. It’s been a busy May for us with many interesting sightings and events taking place! Our local dolphins have been seen regularly and the first humpback whale sighting was had on the 19 May! This is the earliest recorded date we have for the past 10 years. Ironically we received notification from WCA Partner HappyWhale on the same day about the first re-sighting off a humpback whale in the Reserve too. The mostly white fluke was sighted in both the October of 2017 and 2018 – here’s hoping we have another re-sighting this year too of this individual.
During May the Dolphin Team in Ponta do Ouro undertook 16 launches, of which 2 tours did not have any sightings. Our local bottlenose dolphins were sighted on most Encountours, with us also recording a large pod of spinner dolphins who were in the company of some pantropical spotted dolphins. An interesting in-water observation followed when three spotted dolphins decided to keep us company in the deep blue sea once their very vocal cousins had left. Magical May found large pods and on the same day we saw a calf with a large remora, stalked barnacles with the most unusual scratches/lesions. They were observed the company of a large pod of bottlenose dolphins and our local humpback dolphin Herme. Have a look if you can spot the calf and Herme in the dolphin crowd.
The team travelled to Durban recently to attend a one day workshop on strandings, response and necropsies; empowering us with more knowledge on how to deal with further stranding situations that arise in the future. A presentation was held in this regard with the Reserve monitors shortly thereafter in hope of sharing some of this knowledge.
The project has had a number of volunteers join us, with the most recent a young gentleman from the Netherlands. Alex travelled some 13,000km on his own to join us for three weeks were he got to experience Africa and all her wildness – including our friendly dolfriends!
“Launches in my opinion is the best part of my whole internship. They are the moments where I get to interact with the dolphins and see them really close. There are a lot of rules but looking back at it I think this is very good and promotes this kind of tourism. If the animals are treated with respect they are more likely to stay. Some of these rules are no touching and no diving down.” Alexander Brouwer for Social Global Studies.
During the first week of July we will be Welcoming the Whales which will be a mini festival and Encountour.
Lloyd Edwards, from WCA Partner Raggy Charters, the regional coordinator for the WCA is currently working his way up the coastline presenting at major humpback whale viewing sites along the South Africa and Mozambican coastline and together with Ronel Friend from Enviro Quest they be presenting in Ponta do Ouro on Friday the 4th July. Find out more here…https://www.facebook.com/