We literally had all hands on deck this morning at Lobosonda with a part of our crew aboard the Stenella for a snorkelling tour and the others aboard our traditional boat, that drove all the way up until Cabo Girão to enjoy a sighting with Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Apart from encountering groups of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) and Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), the dolphins we encounter during our snorkelling tours, our zodiac also managed to find some Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Bottlenose dolphins.
While the crew at sea had their hands full, I went to the school in Calheta to join Mélanie Magnan from Ocean Devotion Madeira for a presentation on the diversity of cetaceans in Madeira and what can be done to protect them. Raising awareness and doing our part in educating the public on marine life is central to our company’s philosophy and integrated into our work both at sea and on land! This is why collaborating with local organisations like Ocean Devotion is such a meaningful step in developing this even further and we were extremely excited to be a part of it…as were the young students attending the talk! The school in Calheta included our talk within a project week programme directed at addressing the sustainable development goals and how best to achieve them; what an initiative!
Bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins were discretely hunting in the waters close to Cabo Girão in the afternoon and our Stenella sped towards the area while our spotter located the animals through the Cory’s shearwaters (Calonectris borealis) circling above the area.
While common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins are largely threatened by unregulated fishing activities, shearwaters ands other marine birds are prone victims of plastic pollution. After seeing the animals at sea today, I was happy to have shared this information with the kids at school. Sustainability isn’t an achievement it’s a process, a path. The achievements are what happens along the way.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Bottlenose dolphins
09:30 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Short-beaked common dolphins (snorkelling), Striped dolphins
15:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Short-beaked common dolphins