OTIONOS would like to say a BIG thank you to all the Swimmers (Leslie Pendergast, Jeff Thom, Monica and Matt Cole, Kaelin Greenland and Jake Stewart), the many Sponsors, Safety Operators (Marcus Stinson, Katelin and Melissa Stinson) and John Loriman for the use of his boat for this years Humpback Whale supportive "MIGRATION SWIM" event at Cedar Point, Georgian Bay Ontario. On Saturday the 7th of September Lee Munson led 6 swimmers from Beckwith Island to Cedar Point, a distance of 2.2 miles. The swim took just 1 hour and 52 mins in rainy conditions with low surface visibility and 18oC surface temperatures. The swim symbolizes the large migrations these animals make every year between feeding and breeding grounds. All proceeds will go towards research equipment and marketing for the OTIONOS humpback whale research program in the TCIs.
OTIONOS just signed the petition "Carnival Cruise Lines: To not operate tours which involve interaction with captive dolphins" on Change.org.
It's important. Will you sign it too? Here's the link:
OTIONOS visits WDC Headquaters in Plymouth MA to discuss possible collaborative efforts and cross over from efficient whale watching management on the infamous Stellwagen Bank to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Marine Biologist Lee Munson met with the director of the WDC (www.wdcs-na.org) Regina Asmutis-Silva to discuss the issues that the humpbacks face both on the feeding grounds and the breeding grounds of the North West Atlantic. We have agreed to share information on both sides of the migration phase and work together for a more holistic safeguarding of this endangered species. A new research strategy has been developed to be able to classify the Turks bank as a valuable breeding ground and designate a marine reserve for the species!
Did you know: There are as few as 500 North Atlantic Right whales!!!!!! Please act NOW and sign this petition http://actrightnow.whales.org/
Come on people!
Every year between June - October Humpback Whales visit the 842-square mile Stellwagen Bank to feed on a rich bounty. This National Marine Sanctuary is located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay and encompasses a gravel bank that can reach just 60ft from the surface. During peak feeding seasons it is commonplace to observe as much as 50 humpbacks feeding in association together. This season is different!! Only one female, Niles, named for the river Nile river pattern on her left fluke has been frequenting the bank. Extra high water temperatures have been recorded on the Stellwagen and this has been suggested as having a knock on effect on there natural food source. All on her own Niles, is holding a HUGE whale watching industry together!!!!
Male ID Confirmation!!!!! 20120316C aka TUSK
JUNGLE!!!! - a positive ID
Working with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation based out of Plymouth, Massachusetts (Cape Cod) we have been able to match a female through underwater fluke imagery seen with her calf on the 16/03/2012 to be JUNGLE. Jungle was last seen off Cape Cod in 2005 and was born to SICKLE in 2000, she was named JUNGLE due to the lines on her left fluke. This is the first humpback to be positively Identified on the Turks bank through OTIONOS research efforts!!! By collaborating efforts a larger picture can be drawn up of the humpbacks migratory habits and reproductive success!!!! Go JUNGL
Decisions, decisions...... It is time for OTIONOS to get a boat. Will it be the rugged and agile RIB or, the unsinkable Boston Whaler?? watch this space!
OTIONOS is currently in the process of revamping the website! Please bare with us!
On March 30th at the Gansevoort Hotel in Providenciales Turks and Caicos, Lee will be doing a presentation about the Humpback Whale research he has been leading for the past two years in Salt Cay! Come out and learn something and watch some amazing videos taken this season!!