Ocean Explorer is a firm specialized on responsible whale watching and with a team of professional staff that is committed with the research and wildlife conservation. The team of marine biologists is involved in several projects together with the University of La Laguna (ULL) in Tenerife and private institutions/NGO such as Asociación Tonina and Calderones de Canarias.
Whale watching tourism is growing remarkably nowadays and has become in a powerful tool for the study and the preservation of our natural resources. Thus, we can take advantage of the touristic vessels to raise awareness for the protection of the oceans and their inhabitants as well as to collect scientific data for a better understanding of the natural systems. The surrounding waters of La Palma have not received much attention in comparison with major islands such as Tenerife. Definitely, it is essential to have a good knowledge of this area to be able to release valuable information and promote its conservation. *We cannot preserve what we do not know*.
Ocean Explorer is in collaboration with this University since December 2016 by means of data gathering of cetaceans’ sightings and photography in order to contribute to the study and monitoring of beaked whales population in Canary Islands. The main goal of this long-term research is to get a better understanding of this population, their ecology, social structure and connectivity with other populations through the photo-ID of the animals. Beaked whales are very vulnerable to human impact and therefore, they are reliable indicators of the health status of the ecosystem. For more information, you can visit https://cetaceos.webs.ull.es/bioecomac/zifios_el_hierro/
Ocean Explorer is in partnership with the University of La Laguna and offers a training program to students that are enrolled in a Master’s degree. Thereby, the students have the opportunity to gain professional hands-on experience and complete the practical part required to obtain their degree. It is, definitely, a unique opportunity for those looking forward to learn more about cetaceans and their conservation as well as the eco-tourism industry, which is growing worldwide.
Asociación Tonina is a non-governmental organization that focuses on marine research and scientific dissemination. Its research team carries out several projects around the archipelago and it is of special mention the study of the population of pilot whales on the south-west of Tenerife. Ocean Explorer recently signed an agreement with the NGO to take part on the study of this species, regularly seen in La Palma. We obtain very interesting information through the photo-ID of the animals and data collection, which is vital for population studies of this species. For more information, you can visit http://asociaciontonina.com/
Calderones de Canarias is another of the institutions we are partners with for the study of pilot whales’ population dynamics. Throughout the comparison of photo-ID catalogues we can look at movements of this population among the western islands.