Ocean Odyssey values the importance of our rich aquatic environment and has therefore made a commitment to assist students from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Department of Zoology with essential research into certain marine species.
There are currently two projects underway as part of the Garden Route Dolphin Research project.
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The first research project is being done by Danielle Conry, Masters Candidate on the rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, members of the genus sousa (Sousa chinensis) which is currently listed as a near-threatened species. Danielle has completed her field studies and is now busy collating her data in preparation for her thesis.
The second research project on the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) is being done by Dr Alejandra Vargas-Fonseca (DVM, MSc) PhD Candidate. The Bottlenose dolphin is listed as “data deficient” species, meaning that too little is currently known about the status of this marine mammal.
Several times a month, Ocean Odyssey takes Ale our on full day survey trips, covering a broad area just off shore of our coastline while she collects valuable data on the Bottlenose Dolphins.
Individuals are identified by the unique shape of their dorsal fins, and photographs are taken of each dolphin and put into a data base. This allows them study and thus measure population numbers and breeding patterns. This is invaluable research into these dolphin species and it is imperative to protect them and the area that they inhabit.