Monday 21 December 2009

Lüderitz, 17-20 December

By Ruth Leeney

Having deployed 2 C-PODs in the Lüderitz area back in August as well, I had hoped to get down to the south, retrieve the units, download their data and get them back out in the water as part of this trip. As my schedule became more restricted, Jean-Paul Roux at the Lüderitz offices of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources was invaluable in helping out. He organised the retrieval of both units, to have them waiting on land for me when I arrived. Unfortunately, only the C-POD with the surface marker buoy, deployed in Shearwater Bay, was retrieved, so hopefully, efforts in the new year to grapple for the Guano Bay POD will be successful. For now, at least, the first ever acoustic monitoring dataset for this region has been collected - the C-POD logged over 100 days in an area known to be used by small groups of Heaviside's dolphins, and plenty of detections are evident in the data.
The Shearwater Bay C-POD was re-deplyed in the same spot on the 19th of December and will continue to collect habitat use data in this area. I hope to see some seasonal patterns in these data start to emerge, as well as the interesting diel (day-night) patterns already evident!
Many thanks to Heiko and Stefan Metzger on Zeepard for their assistance in the field, and for the 'lekker' place to stay, and to Jean-Paul for his ongoing involvement with this project.

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