Marine Mammals Research Association Expedition 2018
One of the Lovesail members, Indigo Blue, is lucky enough to be involved with the Marine Mammals Research Association Expedition next year. His yacht, Chance Discovery a Discovery 55, is used for the expedition trips which aim to study marine mammals, their main threats and possible ways to help protect their vulnerable world in the Mediterranean. Members of the public are being given the chance to join these trips. You can participate in sailing the yacht, help the research team or just sit back, relax and watch the experts in action.
The Expedition’s Aims
The Marine Mammals Research Association Levantine Research Expedition aims to explore areas of the Mediterranean where little is known about the cetacean population. Researchers want to determine the population’s main threats and ways in which to help protect their vulnerable world. Scientific data collection processes will include visual sightings, photo identification and behavior pattern recording; live genetic samplings and hydrophone and drone recordings along-with data collection on microplastic waste pollution levels. The Mediterranean Sea is a biodiversity hotspot, however, much is unexplored. Due to a lack of scientific research, there are little if any conservation measures in place to protect these waters and their marine inhabitants.
The expedition will cover the coastal and offshore waters of the Southern Adriatic to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea starting in Montenegro and ending in Turkey. The expedition will be divided into four sectors. See below for more details.
On the expedition you are likely to encounter a variety of marine mammals:
- The common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
- The striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)
- The short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
- Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus)
- Sperm Whales (Physeter microcephalus)
- The Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris)
- The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
- The Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus).
The study areas in the Mediterranean are largely unexplored, so there may also be the potential to discover other cetacean species, for example, the Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)!
Join the expedition for any one or all of the sectors of the trip. Space is limited to a maximum of 4 guests using two of the master stateroom with its own en-suite facilities, forward double or Pullman with two single bunks.
Sector 1 – Montenegro to Corfu: A one-week trip. We will depart from Porto Montenegro and travel down the Montenegrin Coast to the Northern Ionian. Approximate ETD from Porto Montenegro is the last week of April. Total distance around 250nm
Sector 2 – Corfu to Athens: A one-week trip from Corfu to Athens via the Southern Ionian Islands and the Gulf of Patras. Continuing on via the Corinth Canal into the Saronic Gulf and onwards to Athens. Approximate ETD from Corfu is the first week of May. Total distance around 300nm.
Sector 3 – Athens to Iraklion: A one-week trip from Athens via the Cyclades then across the Southern Aegean to Iraklion, Crete. Approximate ETD from Athens is the second week of May. Total distance around 300nm.
Sector 4 – Iraklion to Marmaris, Fethiye or Antalya: A one-week trip from Iraklion via the Dodecanese to either Marmaris, Fethiye or Antalya. Approximate ETD from Iraklion is the third week of May. Total distance around 350 to 450 nm depending on the exact route taken.
Thereafter there will be four one week 500 nm survey trips offshore of the Turkish Coast between Marmaris to Fethiye and Antalya. Two trips towards the end of June and two more towards the end of September.
Total expedition distance covered will be in excess of 3,000 nm over a period of around 8 weeks.
For further information or to join the expedition contact either Richard (Username: Indigo Blue) through the Lovesail site or alternatively visit The Marine Mammals Research Association. This website has an English version link on the top right corner.
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