Ocean Explorer operates with its research vessel “Ocean Breeze” in the Caribbean Sea as well as in the east Pacific Ocean and supports the protection of whales and dolphins and their natural environment.
We perform scientific research in close collaboration with established scientific institutions and regional environmental conservation organizations. We enhance the knowledge about marine mammals and their threats. Together with local groups we support the development of protection plans of species, populations and ecosystems.
The research of Ocean Explorer focuses on spatial and temporal distribution patterns of marine mammal species, population estimations and behavioural observations of marine mammals.
By joining one of our research trips, interested volunteers get the unique opportunity to observe whales and dolphins in their natural environment and to contribute to their protection. These volunteers enable Ocean Explorer to realize its research activity by participating in the colletion of data at sea and also in the financing of these research projects.
Research methods on sea:
- Line transect: This standardized observation method is quite common in whale research and is specifically used in geographically wide and open regions
- Hydrophone: As whales and dolphins spend more than 90% of their time under the water surface, visual sightings can be combined with hydrophonic recordings
- Photo identification: In certain destinations this method is used in addition. Photos of specific body parts, i.e. the fin, can help identifying individuals like a fingerprint. Scars inflicted by attacks of other animals or by propellers of big ships can also give important hints to identify individual animals.
The participants will receive detailed information about the research on the research vessel “Ocean Breeze”, the specific species of marine mammals as well as the day-to-day life on board.
During the journey experienced marine biologists teach interesting facts about the behavior of marine mammals and their environment. After an introduction on board the participants will get to know and contribute to the simple but spectacular life on board of a confortable catamaran with lots of space. In addition, interested people can learn more about sailing from the experienced skipper (confirmation of miles possible). The participants will appreciate and contri-bute the simple but impressive life on board of a spacey catamaran.
To establish a sufficient and sustainable protection of species and their habitat, a profound knowledge about life history and behavior is required. This includes information of population density, temporal and spatial distribution and characteristic interactions with the environment. This scientific knowledge is the essence to create the appropriate political framework for the protection of the species and their habitat.
Objectives and practical use of the project activities are as follows:
- Contribution to the scientific research of distribution and population density of whales and dolphins
- Development of ecological awareness. Participants get the opportunity to experience the marine mammals in freedom as well as to observe their behaviors and their habitat
- Collaboration with local research institutions and environment protection organizations
And after all: experiencing an extraordinary time with equal-minded people in a fascinating environment