October 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
We have been trying to set up and run our Minke Whale research organisation for almost 4 years now. Everysince we worked in Canada with ORES on Minke Whales we were totally hooked and had the great dream of setting up a similar organisation in Europe.
We had a great time in Andenes, Norway meeting a lot of people and working with other researchers. The Minkes up there weren’t helpful though and we quickly had to realise that the shy creatures could possibly be studied from a small boat which we would drive ourselves, but not from a whale watching vessel.
We tried hard to find boats, people or anything that would help us to set up any kind of work on these amazing creatures. But four years without solid data is not research and we don’t want to pretend doing something which we can’t possibly achieve at the moment.
With a great lack of funding, unable to afford our own boat for a long time and unable to find someone with a boat and interest for the Minkes, we came to the decision to put the project to rest for a while. We hate to do so and we truly are at a point we never wanted to be. Failing wasn’t supposed to be an option – ever. But our personal lives take priority too as I am sure you all will understand.
We never know, luck might come back again and who knows, maybe we will start to work again one day!
The Minke Research Team.
August 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
We are just now on the way to Seahouses, UK where we were invited by Serenity Boats for a trip out. Let’s hope we see some Minke Whales!
July 31, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It’s been a while that we got the chance to post some nice Minke Whale pictures on our website. That’s obviously due to the fact that we simply haven’t been out on the water much.
Thanks to Debbies persistent networking and also some luck we got in touch with Andrew, a boat captain from the Farne Islands. He is running a small Whale Watching business called Serenity Boats (http://thefarneislands.blogspot.co.uk/).
The Farne Islands are off the North East coast of England:
Andrew sees Minke Whales on a daily basis this summer and has offered us to use his pictures here on our website. The lovely shots aren’t just beautiful but may also be the start of a photo identification project, who knows!
One of the main reasons people see this many Minke Whales this year might be due to the fact that we have a lot of Mackerel in our water at the moment, which again might be due to the very warm summer (a rare thing in the UK!).
Andrew says the Minke Whales oftem come very close to the boat and dive underneath it “almost as if they would check us out”. This does suggest that the animals are young, curious juveniles which can be very playful with boats and tend to interact more than older Minke Whales.
Enjoy the pictures and again, thank Andrew!
Nice dorsal fin marks which are very useful for identification:
© Serenity Boats, by Andrew Douglas
July 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I spent last Saturday in Saltburn watching the sea and looking for Whales. All I saw was one Minke Whale which I could confirm, it was a traveller just passing through. There were possibly two more dorsal fins I saw, porpoises or Dolphins or even Minkes but I couldn’t be sure enough.
On Sunday the wheather was simply too rough to spend enough time out there.
However, I am obviously very proud to have seen a Minke Whale as most people said it would be impossible to see one! But hey, nature rewards the patient one: I could follow it for quite a while with my binoculars.
There are two really rewarding aspects to the work with whales. One is the obvious: working with the animals. The other one is education. It is a great feeling to tell people about the whales, make them aware of our environment and surroundings. That’s why I love to do little projects like the National Whale and Dolphin watch or guided boat tours. People almost always react totally astonished when we tell them what the whales are doing AND that there are whales present at all. And it was no different last weekend in Saltburn. I luckily met a lot of people asking me questions what I was doing. And most of them couldn’t believe that I’d just seen a Minke Whale passing through.
I do believe it is our responisbility to tell and teach people about the whales if they are interested. We should always aim to give people the easiest access to information and the researches themselves as in the end there is nothing better than passing on a little bit of our passion and hopfully be able to make a positive change for the environment.
July 26, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I’m gonna give it a try tomorrow at Saltburn Pier to try and find some Minke Whales and other marine mammals. I hope to see a lot of interested people and of course, Minkes! If not, then the beautiful surroundings are certainly going to make up for it. I shall keep you posted..
July 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It’s been a while and we have been very quiet. Sorry for that, sometimes Minke Whale research can be a bit tricky.
As some of us are based in the UK now, we started to have a closer look at the marine wildlife in our area, the North East of the UK. And guess what? Minkes are reported from everywhere along the North Eastern coast. People are very much interested in Minke Whales and offer us a great deal of information.
Keen to exchange data and information, we are joining the National Whale and Dolphin Watch organised by the www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk. It basically means we will be standing by the shore, trying to spot Minkes and other Whales. Of course, it’s not just Minke Research helping, there is a lot of people all along the Eastern coast leading Whatches during the 27th July – 4th August. I attach a list below to give you an idea of the extend of this event and also for anybody from the UK, interested to come along and have a look.
I am well aware, it’s highly unlikely that we will see any Minkes from the shore BUT: we have to give it a try. You never know…
We will keep you up to date during the watches via twitter and facebook – just in case we DO see something…
See you soon!
Watches confirmed as of 22/07/13
It is likely that more will follow, press releases should ask people to keep logging on to www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk for the latest information
So far I have the following watches confirmed (organised geographically north – south):
• Tees Mouth (South Gare) – 28th July & 4th August, 10am-4pm, Desiree Wilson
• Saltburn Pier – 27th & 3rd August, 10am – 4pm, Desiree Wilson
• Whitby – Finding Fins boat trips, 7:30-10:30am & 5:00-8:00pm daily (weather permitting), £20 20 min boat trips on Esk Belle III and Kerrera from 10:30 every day throughout the week. , Robin Petch (SWF Yorkshire Regional Co-ordinator and Chair of Trustees)
• Robin Hoods Bay – Ness Point (old Coastguard lookout), 27th July, 8:00am-11:30am, Oliver Metcalf • Scarborough (Marine Drive) – 4th August, 10am-4pm, Stuart Baines • Filey Brigg (follow the footpath to the end of the Brigg until the signs warn you to go no further!) – Sunday 28th July, 10am-4pm, Kate Mars
• Bempton Cliffs RSPB Reserve – 27th July, 11am–2pm, Emma Howe-Andrews
• Flamborough Head, North Landing – 27th July, 10am– 4pm, Anthony Hurd (Yorkshire Wildlife Trust) (park at North Landing and head towards the lighthouse. We will be near Breil Nook on YWT’s Flambrough Cliffs Reserve)
• Flamborough Head, South Landing – 28th July, 10am- 4pm, Anthony Hurd (Yorkshire Wildlife Trust) (get directions from the Living Seas Centre) • Flamborough Head, Fog Station – 1st August, 11am- 2pm, Polly Benn
• Flamborough Head, Fog Station – 3rd August, 10am- 4pm, Kate Mars • Withernsea (Pier Towers) – Wednesday 31st, 10am- 4pm, Jill Smith Thursday 1st August, 10am-4pm, Jill Smith
• Spurn Point (nr. The Warren, YWT Office) Sat 27th & Sun 28th July 9am-2pm
March 15, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I always wonder what it is that connects Swiss people so much with the sea and marine mammals. Although we haven’t got an ocean ourselves we do have so many marine biologists, research projects and organisations in our country which support the sea and its beings. So many Swiss give their lives in their home country up and live somewhere abroad to follow this dream of working on the water and being in contact with the marine environment.
The whale mail I got the last week is from my family and showes a magazine, full with Whale information introducing different Swiss researchers and projects. The educational part of the magazine is really good and was a nice surprise. Unfortunately we are not mentioned this time nor are any other Minke Whale projects. But maybe next time!
The other interesting thing which is going on in Switzerland about whales is a heavy debate in the parliament which has started this week. A new law is suggested to be introduced soon which shall ban any import of Dolphins and Whales. Most people will now think: what? they import Dolphins and Whales? I must admit with embarassment that we do and will write more about it in the coming days when our newspapers will have updated us about the issue…
The next season is still unsure for us and I can’t really tell you where and how we will work…but it certainly will be exciting again next summer – as it always is with Minke Research.