Next month, Pacific Whale Foundation researchers are set to present at the World Marine Mammal Conference, held in Barcelona, Spain. This conference is unique in that it is a merger of two regional conferences, held by the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) and the European Cetacean Society (ECS), into one massive global conference to bring together leaders in the field from every continent, with 2500 participants attending from more than 60 countries.
The organizers say, “Our goal is to bring together scientists, managers, policymakers, educators and students from across the globe to discuss the world’s most exciting science and most pressing conservation issues. The World Marine Mammal Conference offers an unparalleled opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue in order to foster international collaborations that will impact our understanding of marine mammal science and conservation.”
Pacific Whale Foundation’s Chief Scientist Jens Currie, Chief Biologist Stephanie Stack, and Ecuador Research Director Cristina Castro were each selected to present their research out of thousands of submissions.
Stack will be presenting Evaluating Anthropogenic Activities on Humpback Whales Using Behavioral Changes as a Measure of Impact: Two Case Studies, in which both vessel and swimmer interactions with humpback whales and their possible impacts are studied.
Currie will be presenting A Comparison of Three Analytical Techniques for Population Monitoring of Island-Associated Odontocetes, a 6-year study evaluating the relative effectiveness of three abundance estimation techniques: mark-recapture, line-transect distance sampling, and density surface modelling for monitoring odontocetes in Maui Nui, Hawai‘i.
Castro will be presenting Friendly Whales? Unusual Behavior of Humpback Whales That Are Possibly Accustomed to Tourism, examining the rapidly emerging trend of ‘friendly humpback whales’ in Ecuador that intentionally make contact with vessels and passengers, which sounds charming but can lead to an increased potential for vessel strikes.
The researchers convey, “We are excited to attend this conference to share our whale and dolphin research from Hawai‘i, Australia, and Ecuador to a global audience and receive valuable feedback. We also look forward to building new partnerships and learning about new tools and techniques, advances in marine mammal research, and emerging conservation issues.”
Stay tuned to find out how the conference goes! To explore our research in Hawai‘i, Australia, Ecuador, and Chile, visit pacificwhale.org/research