[MARMAM] Whale and dolphin research in southern Tanzania – Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park, January 2024

DMAD Marine Mammals Research Association info at dmad.org.tr
Thu Nov 23 00:45:32 PST 2023

*Whale and dolphin research in southern Tanzania – Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary
Marine Park, January 2024*

The project focuses on monitoring cetaceans in Tanzanian waters, using a
variety of methods, including systematic small boat surveys with data
collection on presence/absence, species identification, distribution,
behaviour, group cohesion, photo identification and acoustics, in
strategically selected areas.

The pristine seascape of Mnazi Bay and its surrounding waters, located in
Southern Tanzania, holds unparalleled marine wildlife biodiversity, with 10
cetacean species recorded to date (the list will likely expand). At the
same time 50,000 people live near the Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Park, and
being a coastal community, they depend on the ocean for their livelihood.
Our project embraces scientific data collection and community based
environmental education, which once combined, become a backbone of
effective conservation.

By participating in the research, you’ll help to bridge crucial data gaps
for better understanding of the species richness in the area, conservation
issues identification and contributing towards conservation strategy
development in the region.


We offer a limited number of volunteering placements for expedition in
January 2024, that will take place in southern Tanzania with the research
base in the heart of the Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park (MBREMP) –
the most biodiverse seascape of the region and a cetacean hotspot. Selected
volunteers will participate in the small boat surveys off MBREMP and will
assist in collecting visual and acoustic data on cetacean species of this
region, gaining practical experience and theoretical knowledge from
reputable cetacean experts. Placements are open for the fixed period of 2
weeks starting on 10th January 2024.


-Genuine interest in marine conservation, integrity, self-motivation,
maturity and ability to work responsibly;

-Physical fitness and mental endurance enabling sustaining long hours out
at sea in sometimes challenging conditions;

-Ability to cohabit in a dynamic and multicultural environment in a remote

-Respect for the project's rules and work ethics, willingness to adhere to
the standards and protocols;

-Fluency in English (both spoken and written) and good communications

-Willingness to learn new software applications and filed techniques;

-Ability to handle equipment responsibly and with due care;

-Background in marine biology and previous fieldwork experience are an


-Participating in small boat-based surveys daily (total number of surveys
is contingent on weather, but +- 10 surveys should be expected).

-Collecting cetaceans sighting, behavioural, acoustic and photo
identification data, alongside environmental and anthropogenic data;

-Operating various equipment including cameras, drone, hydrophone
(commensurate with skills and experience) and managing respective software
programs (Discovery, PAMGuard, QGIS etc.);

-Data entry and basic analysis;

-Cataloguing and matching individuals of target species for photo-ID
studies via Discovery software;


The Nyangumi Tanzania team provides lectures and field work training as
well as constant mentoring. You will be given the chance to learn the most
popular methodologies used in marine mammal research including:

-GIS mapping


-Discovery, Darwin and Logger 2010 software;

-Systematic data collection and data analysis;


The project contribution for the 2-week placement is $1,800.

The contribution covers the cost of participation in the project and

-Accommodation in a tented camp in the heart of the Mnazi Bay Ruvuma
Estuary Marine Park;

-Basic meals;

-Training and lectures with a copy of the lecture on PDF;

-Fieldwork (daily boat surveys, up to 10 surveys);

-Use of the equipment (subject to respective skills).

Applicants are responsible for their international flights to/from Tanzania
and internal flights to Mtwara, extra meals not included in the field work
period, insurance (all participants must have health and/or travel
insurance), visa and personal expenses.

In the beautiful and remote location of the Mnazi Bay, you’ll have
opportunity to:

·       Encounter cetaceans including Risso’s, Spinner, Bottlenose
dolphins. There are chances to encounter rarely seen in this region pelagic
melon headed whales, false killer whales and pilot whales.

·       Visit sand dunes and mangroves, local fishermen villages and the
Ruvuma estuary – with the hope to see hippos.

·       Snorkel pristine coral reefs.


Email your CV and cover letter to nyangumiznz at gmail.com, copying
info at dmad.org.tr, explaining why you are a suitable asset for our team and
which goals you hope to achieve with us.
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