Baja California - Mexico
Nursery ground for grey whales
The Bay of Baja California offers perfect conditions to observe grey whales very closely.
Highlights of the research trip
Sightings of grey whales
In the Bay of Baja California, grey whales give an insight in their fascinating life. Every year the giants of the oceans migrate over 9’000 km from their food sources in the icy Bering Sea to the Pacific Coast of Mexico to mate and breed in the warm, flat lagoons. They like to lie sideways on the water surface and move their flipper from front to back.
Sightings of vaquita dolphins
The vaquita dolphin, also called Golf of California porpoise, only lives in a small area in the north west of the Bay of Baja California and counts to the most endangered marine mammals worldwide. In 2006, the population was only 400 animals. The cause for the reduction can neither be found in the genetic depletion nor the loss of habitat, nor the environmental pollution, but in the fishing industry. Up to 80 vaquita dolphins die as bycatch in fishing nets each year.
Further species in the region
The waters in the Bay of Baja California are full of life: dolphins, seals, sea lions and over 300 different fishes and birds.
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