Research and conservation of Habitats of Sperm Whales
Understanding of the behavior of sperm whales, especially in waters
with intensive human activities
(Boat traffic, fishing, leisure activities, whale watching)
Educating the public, lectures on whales, in particular in schools
Whale watching tours for children
Cooperation with other organizations with similar objectives
Dominica is an independent island nation in the Caribbean. Due to its unique topography the coastline drops steep into the sea and forms a deep sea basin at the west coast of the Island.
Here deep-diving marine mammals such as sperm whales, pilot whales and False Killer whales, as well as many dolphin species find enough food. Since the animals reside partially close to the coasts, they provide an ideal destination for whale watching.
But the waters are also used by high-speed ferries, cruising and cargo ships and many leisure boats. They represent a constant threat to the slowly floating sperm whales.
Whale watching plays a key role in raising public environmental awareness, provided that it is done in a responsible and sustainable way.
In many regions around the world, also in Dominica it has become an important economic factor, constituting a profitable source of income for local companies, since whale watchers typically also engage in other activities. The more this form of tourism gains in importance, the more our efforts to save the whales will meet with local acceptance.
Whale watching tours are a growing branch of income for operators. Thus the whales remain close to the island, a sustainable whale watch is necessary. For this our behavioral observation may be an important contributions.
A few years ago, we began to give lectures in schools of the marine mammals off the island. Thanks to donations we were able to invite local children to whale-watching excursions. The children therefore had the opportunity the beauty, but also the dangers of maritime world itself to experience firsthand. These children carry their experiences in the family, thus ensuring a wide dissemination of our message.
Sperm whales are not the easiest of whales to watch, due to their long dive times and ability to travel long distances underwater. However, due to the distinctive look and large size of the whale, watching is increasingly popular. Sperm whale watchers often use hydrophones to listen to the clicks of the whales and locate them before they surface. Younger generations’ not knowing whaling eras seemingly became more and more curious towards human vessels.
Currently, entanglement in fishing nets and collisions with ships represent the greatest threats to the sperm whale population. Other threat includes ingestion of marine debris, ocean noise, and chemical pollution.
Only about 60 sperm whales are remaining in the Dominican waters. Beside the mentioned threats also other human activities like whale watching or “swim with the whales” programs are sources that can disturb the animals and encourage them leaving the Dominican waters to find more quite places, as long as there are no rules for a sustainable and responsible interaction with these gentle giants.
How to become a member? Contact us:
Rotterdamer Straße 35
Tel: 0173/97 67 823
Email: info (at) pottwale.de
Vereinsregister Düsseldorf Nr. 10744
Board: Andrea Steffen
The association is under notice of exemption from the tax office Dusseldorf from 09.3.2013, recognized due to the promotion of animal welfare.
BLZ: 301 602 13
Kto: 2106 3490 13
Rotterdamer Straße 35
+49 173-976 78 23