Project Humpback whale
Researchers Diana Rocha & Jenny Strömvoll
The humpback whales of Ponta do Ouro. Although most baleen whales are found in all oceans, they still take on these extensive migrations. These migrations are time-coupled to the breeding/mating season. Every year from July-November the Humpback whales migrate pass our coastline to warmer water for mating and giving birth. The humpback whale is one of the most dramatic whales that visits our coast, its Latin name Megaptera novaeangliae means "big-winged New Englander." It is known for its spectacular leaps and long, white side flippers. During their migration they come closer to shore and we have an opportunity to spot them on our way to the dive sites or even rarely on dives. As a research initiative we collect fluke pictures for a southern african catalogue. The project aims on a annual basis, to collect data on the humpback whale population that migrates to its breeding grounds north from Ponta do Ouro region (Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve).
Humpback whale population C1 migrates every year from colder waters in Antarctica to wormer waters of the coast of Mozambique. The Humpback whale was heavy targeted during the whaling years and when the modern whaling started between 1908-1915 its estimated that 24700 Humpback whales where taken of the African coast from Congo to Mozambique. This high numbers led to the collapse in the breeding population of the South West Indian Ocean. Only when they received full protection in the 1960 could you start see an increase in the population.
Today there is very little know of breeding stock C1, their behaviour on their northbound and southbound migratory routes as well as abundance and possible increase.
We aim to conduct a long term based project which will be of importance as there is no established research conducted within the PPRM.
Each launch conducted by BACK TO BASICS ADVENTURES starts of by heading for the same GPS coordinate each day and observe how many whales we can sight. If whales are observed we approach them, take note on heading, group composition, behaviour, interested by the boat, fluke pictures etc.
Researchers Jenny Strömvoll & Yara Tibirica
The Project started in Ponta do Ouro year 2011 November. The aim is to classify the spieces that are found in Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve. So far there is more then 180 different species ranging from Kosi Bay border up to Mamoli bay.
In 2011 October we found a new species of Halgerda sp. on Atlantis reef. Gosliner a well renowed scientist reqognizes it as a new species, Yara Tibirica is busy classifying it and hopefully by 2014 December Mozambique will have its first discovered marine species,
The research also acts as the base for Peace Parks foundation database project. All species classified here in Ponta region are added to the database and can in that way help YOU identify your own findings of slugs. The program aim to be used of the public.