The SCS wants to help build a better and sustainable future for marine life.
Serving the Oceans is not an act of self-sacrifice in the service of nature alone, but is in the immediate interest of every human being. Nature is essential to the well-being of each and every one of us and, in these current times of climate change more than ever we need a vibrant biosphere. We don't fully appreciate how much we owe to marine life. However, not only are marine fauna and flora in decline, but the populations of the largest and most majestic marine animals are decreasing at a blistering rate. On its own scale, in view of the immensity of the task, SCS is currently working for the Vaquita in Mexico, the Monk Seal in Greece, the Green Turtle in the Comoros and cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea. Preventing these species from disappearing and regenerating the abundance of their populations is a vital necessity!
This field work could not be carried out without the support of a public previously sensitized to the fragility of marine biodiversity. This is why SCS offers you a quality information bank, called CETADOC, which gathers relevant and regularly updated information on cetaceans and their environment.
The California Porpoise (Phocoena sinus), commonly known as Vaquita, is the smallest cetacean in the world. It is also the most threatened.
Only present in the upper Gulf of California (Mexico), the Vaquita is an incidental by-catch of gillnets deriving from local fishing activities and poaching of the Totoaba fish (Totoaba macdonaldi) - also in danger of extinction.
Only 12 individuals are still alive.
In its component on the future of the most threatened cetacean species, SCS supports the NGO Pro Natura Noroeste A.C. (Mexico).
The project is about developing alternative fishing techniques which are "Vaquita-friendly", in order to replace the drift nets that decimate it.
ALERT!!!!! MARCH 2018 :
"The VAQUITA population has dropped to 12 individuals"
CONSERVATION PROJECT FOR THE VAQUITA
Creating a database
20 years of information gathering
A new project, 100% SCS
The creation of a new website in 2016 made us think about how we could continue to spread the archived information that was regularly consulted on our old website.
The idea came up... Which is in line with our actions. A database to gather all the information concerning cetaceans and their environment.
CETADOC, BIBLIOTHÈQUE DES DONNÉES (only in French)
The Monk Seal is the only pinniped that has adapted to the warm and temperate waters of the globe. It includes three species of the genus Monachus: the Caribbean Monk Seal (Monachus tropicalis) which is probably extinct (last observed in 1952); the Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi) with a total population of 1,200 individuals; and the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) with a total population of just 300. The latter is therefore one of the rarest marine mammals and one of the most endangered species on earth.
Tethys Research Institute is a non-profit international research organization active in marine conservation through science and public awareness, with a focus on large marine vertebrates.
As part of the Ionian Dolphin Project, Tethys aims to ensure optimal conservation conditions for the common dolphin, establish measures for the protection of the bottlenose dolphin, and address risks threatening the monk seal residing in the region of interest.
The Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) is one of seven species of seriously threatened turtles in the world. Although it is fully protected internationally and listed under CITES (or the Washington Convention), poaching is one of the main causes of its scarcity.
The project is located in the Comoros Archipelago on the Mozambique Channel (Indian Ocean), more precisely in the North of the island of Grande Comore, near the village of N'Droudé and on the turtle islet. Formerly a spawning ground, the Green Turtles that come to lay eggs at N'Droudé have little chance of returning alive at sea; they are often poached before they even have time to bury their eggs in the sand.
Swiss Cetacean Society and its partners, the Comorian association Ulanga ngazidja and the Swiss association Terre & Faune, are working to preserve green turtles.
GREEN TURTLE CONSERVATION PROJECT
EAR: AN INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY
The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) and the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) are the two largest species living in the Mediterranean. Because of the excessive pressure of human activities in this enclosed sea, both species are now in a very precarious situation that no longer guarantees their survival, after tens of thousands of years of presence. However, their survival is fundamental to the maintenance of the conservation of the Mediterranean, as it has been known since antiquity. The two species, for different biological reasons, are key elements of marine ecosystems.
Fin whales and sperm whales have been the subject of thorough studies for a long time. Knowledge levels on these two species are high in some respects, but there is still a huge gap: where do these giants go and what do they do in winter?
Three world-renowned marine mammal biologists, pioneers in the study of whales and sperm whales, have joined forces to conceptualize a study plan that avoids the obstacles encountered by their predecessors. The idea seemed obvious to them to replace surface research with acoustic observation.
EAR (Ecological Acoustic Recording) is an instrument designed for the periodic recording of underwater audio signals, and for storing them on a hard disk. Published scientific work based on EAR and the value of the data collected confirms that EAR is a powerful tool for studying cetaceans.
With a project to install up to 1,000 metres deep, 6 listening points permanently installed for 2 years, and 1 year of data analysis, we will finally be able to solve a mystery that has never been answered: where do Mediterranean whales hide in winter?
Purpose of the Ecolabel
The Swiss Cetacean Society has decided to develop an Ecolabel that will be awarded to operators who meet demanding standards on how to practice responsible whale/dolphin watching. On the one hand, we believe that a label enables conscious tourists to make more enlightened decisions when choosing certified operators respectful of codes of good conduct and, on the other hand, it motivates operators to acquire it in order to highlight their commitment to respect the environment. Operators wishing to obtain this label will not only have to respect strict approach codes, but also provide information on cetaceans, their environment and their conservation.
Terra Conscious is a Goa-based organization that offers ethical tourism activities and participates in and manages several conservation projects for marine life and its environment. Since 2017, this organization has been offering workshops to raise the awareness of fishermen and tourist operators about dolphin conservation issues, and to teach them the codes of good conduct for the approach of animals. That’s why SCS will work with Terra Conscious to implement the label in Goa.
Flagging compliance issues related to marine mammal conservation is key to enable the implementation of rapid conservation and enforcement responses at local, regional and international levels.
The Swiss Cetacean Society’s (SCS) Legal Maps tool will allow scientific and policy collaborators to efficiently track applicable legislation and flag compliance issues related to marine mammal conservation.
Combining up-to-date legal research with smart data visualization, ‘SCS Legal Maps’ will provide scientific and policy experts with an interactive map of international and regional legal instruments (binding and voluntary) that apply to the conservation of marine mammals on the global stage.
An essential resource for all marine conservation professionals, this tool is currently being developed by environmental jurists in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Interested in supporting us?
Please contact the SCS at:
ECOLABEL – IN FAVOUR OF A RESPONSIBLE