[MARMAM] World Cetacean Alliance Internship Programme – The Net Effect

Dylan Walker dylan at planetwhale.com
Sat May 7 15:27:42 PDT 2016

This year, the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) is accepting five interns for
its Field Research and Environmental Education Internship as part of its
‘Net Effect’ Programme to reduce the impact of ghost fishing gear and
entanglement on cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) through an
internship project with our whale watching tour operator partners.

*WCA’s Net Effect Internship Programme*

During a 3-6 month period each intern will gain experience both at WCA
Headquarters in the UK, and with a chosen WCA Responsible Whale Watch Tour
Operator Partner in another country (Europe, North America, Latin America,
or Africa). Initially working on a project to provide educational materials
on ghost fishing gear and entanglement to marine educators worldwide, each
intern will be trained as a naturalist guide, take part in activities to
raise awareness of the issue of ghost fishing gear, and work on-board a
whale watching boat delivering talks and interactive activities that focus
on ghost fishing gear and entanglement, giving the public actions that they
can take to help solve the problem.

*The problem*

There is a ghost gear crisis in our oceans. Ghost gear is fishing nets,
pots, and lines that have been accidentally or even deliberately left or
lost at sea. This gear can entangle fish, dolphins, whales, sea turtles,
sharks, and other marine life. The nets restrict movement, cause
starvation, and suffocate animals that need to return to the surface to
breathe. They kill over 100,000 marine mammals and countless other wildlife
every year.

*WCA’s Net Effect Programme*

   - WCA Partners spend a combined 4000 days at sea searching for ghost
   gear and releasing wildlife as part of their other activities.
   - WCA aims to discover and measure the scale of the problem in all 5
   - Through our Partners we will talk about the Net Effect with 500,000
   people on the water.
   - We will build a network of advocates able to collect data on ghost
   fishing gear and contribute to the identification of hotspots worldwide.
   - Our work feeds into the work of a wider partnership called the Global
   Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI).


1.      Interns must pay their own expenses, including food, accommodation,
and travel

2.      Interns are requested to complete a fundraising activity for the
WCA either before or during their internship. More information will be
provided to successful applicants

3.      The time spent and activities undertaken with a WCA Responsible
Whale Watch Tour Operator Partner vary depending on the partner chosen.
Some partners offer accommodation as part of the internship, others have
options for cheap accommodation nearby. The WCA will endeavour to place
interns with the most appropriate partner.

4.      The internship will begin around 1st July with interns based for
the first month at WCA Headquarters in Brighton, UK, before travelling to
continue their internship with their chosen whale watch tour operator.

*Example Whale Watch Tour Operator Partner: Cape Ann Whale Watch*

Based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA, Cape Ann Whale Watch takes between
150 and 250 passengers a day on whale watches in and around the Stellwagen
Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Specializing in education, we strive to
educate passengers about whales and the marine environment. It is our hope
to inspire a sense of respect and personal responsibility for the wellbeing
of the planet.

Up to four interns and one naturalist on every trip help accomplish our
goal of educating people about whales and fostering a stronger appreciation
and respect for whales and the ocean environment. With this newfound
respect and appreciation, the team of educators also hopes to positively
influence how the passengers regard the environment and to increase their
role in helping to preserve it.

In order to accomplish this goal, our interns circulate the boat with
hands-on teaching tools to educate the public about whales and their
environment. To give an idea of what we use: There are samples of whale
baleen and teeth for passengers to touch. A 3-D model of Stellwagen Bank
allows people to better understand why whales migrate to the coast of
Massachusetts. Our whale tail identification board allows passengers to
become scientists and test their skills at matching whale tails. Once the
actual whale watching begins, the naturalist provides educational
interpretive commentary while the interns collect data on whale behaviour
and identification for our research project. The interns are also on-board
to answer questions on a wide variety of topics, on everything from whale
behaviour to whale conservation. Finally, the interns are expected to help
with the general functioning of the whale watching vessel.

Interns work four to five days on the boat. It might seem like a lot, but
in reality, you are spending your summer aboard a boat, on the Atlantic
Ocean, watching whales. What can be better than that? You don’t need to be
a biologist to apply. We are looking for students who will make the most of
the amazing opportunities this internship provides. We are looking for
individuals who are passionate about whales and the ocean environment.
Applicants for this position should feel comfortable with public speaking,
teaching in small groups, and working with school age children.


*Early application is strongly encouraged.* Applications will be accepted
until 20 May. Once a completed application is received, a shortlist will be
drawn up. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend an interview via
skype. Applicants will then be notified soon after.

This is an unpaid internship, and housing is not provided, but we will work
with all the interns to find something suitable.
To apply: Send a C.V. and covering letter stating why you are interested in
this internship via email entitled ‘Net Effect Internship’ to Dylan Walker
at: dylan at worldcetaceanalliance.org
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