We told you about it some time ago, the new Mauritian regulations put in place at the end of the year limit the possibilities of swimming with sperm whales. Taking part in a mission as an ecovolunteer therefore remains the best way to meet the giants ...
ALL SENSES IN EVEIL
“We leave Trou aux Biches every morning around 7 am, explains Nicolas Kiechel, ecovolunteer for Megaptera during one of the last missions, and depending on the state of the sea, we sail north or south to start the eavesdropping. using a directional hydrophone. "Insofar as it is possible to hear the" clicks of the animals from several kilometers away, the eavesdropping gives directions to follow, and ultimately makes it possible to locate the area where the sperm whales are found. "Then, patiently remains to watch the horizon in search of a breath, a" breach "(jump) or anything that may resemble the presence of a sperm whale. "
BEHAVIOR AND PHOTO-IDENTIFICATION
“Once the sperm whales are spotted,” says Nicolas, “we take pictures and videos of the dorsal and caudal fins. And depending on their behavior, we decide whether or not to get into the water. Underwater images are very important because on the surface we do not systematically see all the elements necessary for individual photo-identification: on the one hand, the caudal, which is the essential element for the identification of a sperm whale. , is only visible on the surface when the sperm whale probes. (Photo-identification using the dorsals is in fact only possible when there are marks of injury, notches or encrustations ...) Underwater, it is possible to photograph one or even several caudals in only one launch. On the other hand, underwater photography makes it possible to define the sex of each individual, which is more difficult on the surface except for the large breeding males… ”
IN THE RESPECT OF THE M2CO CHARTER
The Marine Megafauna Conservation Organization, chaired by Hugues Vitry, has set up an observation and approach charter. It must be signed by all participants. They also undertake to provide a copy of all their terrestrial and underwater images to the association, in order to create a precise database including a photo and video image bank intended to identify and register each animal. This will allow, in the long term, to follow the evolution of the populations of marine mammal species frequenting the area, in partnership with the Megaptera association.
FROM MARCH 31 TO APRIL 9 WITH RENÉ
There are still some places for a stay of eco-volunteering with video internship option, organized by René Heuzey of 31 March at 9 April.
Program: sperm whale snorkeling trips 5 days, giant moray eels and wreck scuba diving 2 days, i.e. 4 dives.
If you are interested you can contact René Heuzey at 0607614567 or by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM 19 TO 28 March with H2O VOYAGE
In small groups of 7 people, you will leave during 5 days (on a privatized boat, in order to have enough space for the photo equipment and for your comfort during the day trips). Departure in the morning to 07h00 to reach the deep blue of the Indian Ocean, off the north coast of the island to the
meet sperm whales! It is at the base of 1m deep, that a group of about fifty individuals has taken up residence, mainly females and their young, the males themselves, migrate in the arctic waters to feed and do not return here only to reproduce ...