BSWP Sperm Whales & Balearic Dolphins
Study zone :
Balearic Islands - Spain
Participation costs :
6 days expedition : CHF 1'250.- all inclusive on board
Meeting place :
Nautic Sa Rapita club
(Majorca, Balearic Islands)
Number of ecovolunteers per expedition :
BALEARIC expeditions in 2021 :
B1 : August 9 to 15
B2 : September 6 to 12
Information session :
Wednesday June 16 at 7p.m.
Session online (link to attend the session will be shared in due time)
Scientific partner :
High degree of participation in on-board activities is required!
18 years old and above
Must know how to swim
No drugs on board
Be a SCS member (registration included in the price for non-members)
Good physical condition and resistant to seasickness
NB : to be considered beyond 65 for reasons of balance in particular
Swiss Cetacean Society - SCS
Société suisse d’étude et de protection des cétacés – SCS
Swiss Cetacean Society - SCS CP 1430
Tel : + 41 (0)77-469 25 26
THE BSWP PROGRAM
To develop the Balearic Sperm Whale Project – BSWP, eco-volunteers are actively involved in this work.
During the week, a team of 2 eco-volunteers take turn every 2 hours to stand guard. After having trained you in all functions, the Tursiops team remains by your side to assist you in your tasks.
Here are some of the functions that are required of you :
Assist in piloting the boat: don't worry, the Tursiops team is at your side to answer your questions. Besides, the boat is sailing on autopilot and you just need to control its direction and monitor the risk of collision.
Every half hour, a listening is carried out to detect the presence of sperm whales. In case you think you have heard the sound of a sperm whale, the Tursiops team confirms the presence of the animal and decides how to act accordingly.
Hourly meteorological and navigation data is collected. For this, an on-board report must be kept.
Whenever you observe a cetacean, you must complete the observation report.
Once a sperm whale is detected, we track it acoustically, hoping not to lose the signal.
If the sperm whale surfaces, we try to pinpoint its location. This enables us to collect more precise data and carry out a photo-identification of the animal. When the whale probes, it takes out the tail fin where we can photograph it for identification purposes, for, each individual is different.
The bioacoustic signal recordings of each animal are stored and the relevant data is analyzed.
OUR PARTNER : TURSIOPS ASSOCIATION
The Balearic Islands have the largest protected marine area in Spanish waters.
Spanish marine protected areas are under the responsibility of the General Directorate of Rural and Marine Environment (DGMRM), a government agency.
The DGMRM, conducts research to assess the environmental function of these marine reserves and sets up the regulation of fishing and leisure activities in the waters concerned. The DGMRM is also setting up programs to reintroduce extinct species, such as the sea spider since 2007, for example.
Since 2000, Dr. José Maria Brotons Martinez (DGMRM, then, Tursiops Association) studies the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) of the Balearic Islands, with the aim of reducing the possible nuisance it causes to local fishermen, as well as the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus ).
These programs, under the title of Balearic Sperm Whale Project – BSWP, include bio-acoustic studies, photo-identification of individuals and an ethological study of the population.
The objective of the collaboration of the SCS with the Tursiops Association essentially consists in obtaining a better overall vision of the presence of cetaceans in the Balearic Islands, of the Sperm Whale in particular, in order to establish a conservation strategy.
For the BSWP program, the Tursiops Association collaborates with the Sea Mammal Research Unit of the Faculty of Biology at the University of St Andrews (Scotland). By collecting new data at sea around the islands, the work of the SCS ecovolunteers helps the Tursiops Association to study the bioacoustics of the Sperm Whale and to define more precisely the distribution of cetaceans in the waters of the Balearic Islands, mainly Bottlenose dolphins but also , among others, blue and white dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus).
The scientific programs of our partner Dr José Maria Brotons Martinez takes place with the presence of internationally renowned scientists on board.