[MARMAM] Sea Watch Foundation Cetacean Survey Training Course 2009

Gemma Veneruso gem_v34 at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 6 16:33:31 PDT 2009

Cetacean Survey Training Course in New Quay, West Wales
Join a short course to learn all about British cetaceans, how to survey for them, and contribute to their conservation!


Two-days weekend course, 5th-6th September 2009

The course will consist of illustrated lectures and video presentations
as well as headland watches and boat surveys aboard a local research
vessel. The area where land and boat trips will be undertaken is the
Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC), a place well-known for
the presence and high sighting frequency of bottlenose dolphins (the
largest population in the UK), harbour porpoises and grey seals. These
populations are protected in the SAC following the 1992 EU Species and
Habitat Directive.


The Sea Watch Foundation is the most experienced organisation in the UK
for training observers and students interested in marine mammals,
having run courses for over ten years. It has provided training for
staff from all three national statutory conservation agencies, the
Environment Agency, CEFAS, Department of the Environment, Wildlife
Trusts, Royal Navy, and MMOs working with the oil and gas industries.
Most of the field guides on cetaceans on the market in UK have actually
been written or had consultations from the Sea Watch Foundation. Thus
we hope we can guarantee a very high level training course given by
highly experienced staff.

The lectures and
videos will focus on general biology and classification of cetaceans,
species identification, conservation issues facing UK cetaceans, and
recommended monitoring survey methods. The course will be based at New
Quay, Ceredigion, West Wales, where our Welsh office is based, and will
provide an unparalleled opportunity to see marine mammals in the wild
and to contribute to cetacean conservation in Britain.
The practical element of the course will combine both land and
boat-based surveys allowing participants to directly learn how to
conduct systematic watches and fill in standardised recording forms. 

 Land and Boat-based work will teach participants the skills needed for:

identifying the various cetaceans species found in the area 
estimating group size and distinguishing between calves, juveniles and adults 
determining cetacean behaviours 
assessing sea state and other key environmental features 
learning some basic photographic techniques aimed at identifying single individuals 

Please note that, due to the unforeseeable weather conditions, the
program might change and, in case of particularly adverse weather, the
field trips may have to be modified.  

All participants will receive a detailed manual on how to record
and monitor cetaceans, a species identification booklet, and a
certificate for completing the course. The courses will be taught by
experienced and enthusiastic staff from the Sea Watch Foundation.


The price for the course is £180.00 and includes lectures, boat and
land surveys, insurance and all the materials provided, but excludes
meals, travel and accommodation.

To book a place or for further information please contact Sightings Officer, Gemma Veneruso. Tel: 01545 561227, gemma.veneruso at seawatchfoundation.org.uk. 

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