Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The 2009 summer field season is now over. I'm going to handing the data over to my student and hopefully not thinking about solving any problems for a day or two :) I'll post updates as our findings come out.

Luderitz was a sweet and successful end to the season for me, which has been rather stressful due to all our funding issues. But all things considered, it worked out pretty well, mainly I must say due to the fantastic support the project has received from the Namibian community. I'm going to try list a few of the key people to whom I really owe a vote of thanks:

Ingo, Isolde, Dougie, and Alan at Pelican Tours - the loan, launching and recovering of Pedro was invaluable for our work in Walvis Bay.

Naude, Megan and Neels Dreyer of Mola Mola Safaris - for being proactive and organising so much relating to the whale and dolphin strandings. For helping us out with cheaper fuel and a venue for our fundraiser talks in Feb.

Catamaran Charters and Eco-Marine kayak tours - for donations to our research costs this season.

NACOMA, and Rod Braby especially - for being so supportive of the project and helping us find ways to rescue out funding situation.

Namibia Nature Foundation, Rachel Malone and Chris Brown - for fighting so hard when our funding was pulled out that they seem to have rescued the situation for us and all the other projects funded through the same granting body.

John and Barbara Paterson for housing us and being so helpful with the strandings and our research all the other little things that we are always needing.

I'm back in Pretoria for a few months trying o process some of the data and publish and few papers, but we're still working on some grant applications, mainly to buy some hydrophones so that when we're back in July for the winter season we'll be running at full tilt. With all the work we've put in over the last year the project is now reasonably set up to run for the next two years.

The two main items that we still need to fund are a set of C-POD hydrophones (grant in progress) and getting our own research boat which will allow us more freedom for longer days and different launch sites and allow us to broaden out goals and work considerably. Anyone reading this who might be able to help us fund or find a research boat that will be used for marine conservation in Namibia - please get in touch with me!

Three days home and I'm looking forward to the winter season when more whales are around. There is very little known about humpback whales from Namibia and we're currently collaborating with the Wildlife Conservation Society who are working in west Africa and with other researchers from the University of Pretoria to share data we collect on this species from Namibia.

4 comments:

ALAUX said...

Hello,

I will visit Namibia with my family during the next July.
Could we have the chance of seeing whales around Walvis Bay?
Kind regards

Benoit ALAUX (from France)

simon said...

July to October is a good time

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