Research Project

#4theSea

The Project #4theSea was created on 2017 by our Marine Biologist, Dra. Ângela Pinto, aiming to fill a gap in data collection along our coastline. This type of research is of great importance because it allows us to better understand these magnificent animals. The data collected will allow, for example, to understand if the cetaceans that are seen are the same every year. If they are, this means that we have a resident population of these species.

At Dolphins Driven we collect data from each sighting we make, regardless of the species observed. We take note of the species observed, the number of animals in each group (estimate), composition in terms of age, among other data. In addition, some species are photographed so we can make photo-identification catalogs.

The photo identification is a Capture-mark-recapture technique, without any direct impact to the animal, besides the proximity of the vessel. It is a technique that ideally allows us to identify each individual in the group.

For some of the cetacean species observed in the Algarve, there are physical characteristics that are unique to each individual. In Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), for example, the dorsal fin acquires marks throughout their life, which allows us to identify each animal, it works much like a fingerprint. This is also true for Risso’s Dolphins (Grampus griseus) patterns of scars. However, the Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) has virtually no markings, making it almost impossible to identify individuals and consequently relationships.

Therefore, we consider that this collection is extremely important. We can compare the fins photographed daily with those already cataloged. We can then perceive territories and abundance of animals.

To share you photographs with us, please send them to angela.pinto@dolphins.pt
Please state your name, date and time of the trip. Thank you for your help!

NOTICE: This page is under maintenance. More updates soon!