video On board Explore Ocean: “Tourism at the service of science”


Sophie Preato is at the helm of the boat Atalaya, referring to the headlands from where the fishermen saw the arrival of the whales. Today, “we are at the benevolence of cetaceans”, the captain emphasizes, while the catamaran is already launching out of the port. Sophie Pretao is the captain of Atalya. With her, Manu, Louis and Coline form the crew. AG Dolphin Watching “What is a cetacean and how to spot them?” As the adventure progresses, educational presentations are offered to educate the day’s watchers. Coline Arqué, naturalist guide, gives four clues of location: the breath, the splash, the caudal fins (the tail, ed) and the dorsal fins, the fingerprint of the dolphins. Educational explanations are offered to cetacean passengers. GA 10:30 am The ship slows down and all passengers are on deck. Between the wonders of some and the admiration of others, the blue-gray dolphins with yellowish flanks go out on the edge of the catamaran for twenty minutes. “It’s magic”, “it makes you dream”, throws the customers, speechless. “We call them common dolphins,” explains Coline. Common dolphins were observed during the day offshore. AG In the lookout tower, Ophélie Hubert, with binoculars available, scans the ocean. “On every trip, I help spot cetaceans,” informs the volunteer observer, census sheet in hand. A sheet where the observation times, the species, the number and their behavior are recorded. Information supplemented with photos of Katarina and transmitted, for research, to the Pelagis observatory of the University of La Rochelle. In the watchtower, Ophélie and Katarina scan the ocean, looking for potential cetaceans. AG A detailed form is filled out for each observation and used for scientific research. AG Learning and awareness “I see a splash at 11am » Ophélie radios Sophie to report the presence of dolphins. The boat slows down and the passengers have the opportunity to observe a new group, with a baby. Two dolphins touch each other, a mating signal. In total, about forty animals were seen. The Explore Ocean team identifies the cetaceans found, in particular through photos and videos. AG Midi, the tourist and scientific ship is calm. The sun is at its zenith as some eat or rest and others vomit. “It’s the real sea,” reports Sophie Preato, at the helm. “When they call me for a ride, I say it’s an expedition”, he reports. “A test of patience and stubbornness”: this is how the captain describes the adventure, where the sighting of cetaceans is not guaranteed. “Some are prepared not to see them”, points out the manager, present at the water almost every day, between March and October.You need patience and observation to be able to admire them dolphins AG “I told myself that if I didn’t see them, it didn’t bother me.” Édouard Couturier, a 10-year-old boy, came with his younger sister and his parents, “raised awareness not to contribute to mass tourism.” The child, admiring at every moment, is already touched by the environment and the animals. Gaze at the ocean and follow the presentations carefully. Édouard also thinks about protecting animals, such as Explore Océan, with his association project Les Tigres rouges: “We will use the money raised to help missing cats or dolphins in the Faroe Islands.” predicts the boy, being one of those “increasingly wiser” passengers. “We are far from the fantasy of the Big Blue”, points out Sophie Preato, although she evokes requests to swim with dolphins, a practice prohibited in France. “They are wild animals with bacteria. »Participatory science«To open the eyes and make people more alert”. This is one of the objectives of this awareness day where the passengers are considered scientists: “It is participatory science”, sums up the captain. A useful initiative when “100% of the threats to cetaceans are of human origin,” according to naturalist guide Coline. On the water, plastic pollution in the ocean, noise pollution and interaction are listed with boats, dolphinariums and climate change. “It gives meaning to the observation”, analyzes Marie Toulemonde, accompanied by her husband and children. “100% of the threats to cetaceans are of human origin”, according to the guide naturalist, Coline Arqué. AG “My goal is for you to keep at least one piece of information and pass it on to those around you”, says Coline to the 37 passengers. A message well received by Fabienne and Thierry Dessales. “We are already raising awareness around us”. evokes the teacher, delighted not having been seasick, unlike several passengers. The silence is felt on the water when the sail is raised. The wind brings Atalaya back to the coast. Arriving at the port, each passenger puts one foot on the ground. Images of dolphins in mind and a conservation message to share. On the same topic Anglet: where to learn to surf On the coast of Anglet there are a wide range of possibilities to learn to surf, within the associative framework or within private schools During eight hours of adventure, passengers discover cetaceans and enjoy the day in the middle of the ocean. A.G
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