Beeing close to Manatees
With the 2nd biggest reef in the world, Belize offers a spectacular underwater world.
Highlights of the research trip
Sightings of manatees
Belize is a well known place to observe manatees. Recently, several sanctuaries have been established to offer a retreat for these endangered marine mammals for feeding, giving birth and raising the young. Ocean Explorer supports the national “Manatee awareness Campaign” and helps in the collection of data.
The recently opened sanctuary “Swallow Caye Manatee” is a protected area for Manatees and other endangered species, such as crocodiles, ibis, herons and paradise birds. Furthermore, a hatchery for sea turtles has been found existing there as well.
Further species in the region
Research activity at sea
During the trip you will learn interesting facts about whales, dolphins and the ecosystems of the oceans from an experienced marine biologist.
You will support the marine biologist gathering scientific data. Therefore, you will use the so called line transect while observing, identifying and counting whales and dolphins. This method is the fundamental basis for research.
The knowledge about local presence and number of individuals of different species help estimating the size of populations in diverse areas. These important facts will be submitted to international and local research institutions. With this support you will contribute to a valuable worldwide effort to protect these fascinating animals.
Knowledge about ecosystems
During brief lectures and relaxed discussions you get insights in the development of marine mammals, their biology, ecology, life in the oceans and plenty more. In addition, you can discover the fascinating underwater world and its colorful reefs by swimming, snorkeling and/or diving. Together with the guide you will explore the reefs and meet other inhabitants of the oceans in their natural habitat. These practical experiences make the great scientific work complete.
Talking to local fishermen and people are further highlights which offer new perspectives and sharpen our view for regional problems (e.g. overfishing, freshwater scarcity, pollution etc.).
There will also be the opportunity to visit nature reserves and wildlife parks on guided tours to see the fauna and flora in its whole beauty.
Besides research work and onboard activities there will be plenty of time to relax, lay back and enjoy the sea, the sun, taking a bath and for joined meals in beautiful scenery.
Details of the trip