In 1999, I helped the scientist Delphine Legay in her project of photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins (Stenella longirostris) on Mauritius. The subject of the study was about :
- To develop the research activity in marine biology by studying the large predators of the marine ecosystems such as whales, dolphins and sharks around Mauritius, Rodrigues Island, Saint-Brandon, Reunion Island, Madagascar, Mayotte, Comoros and Seychelles.
- Educate local communities about the need to protect marine life by training them, involving them in research, and talking to children.
- Train students in marine mammal and shark research so that the project can become a long-term study and last for many years with a local life.
- To protect marine biodiversity by proposing texts on how to act for the respect of ocean animals.
- Enhance tourism in the region by developing scientifically controlled whale ecotourism activities.
- The long-term objective is to ensure the conservation and eco-tourism value of cetaceans by creating a marine mammal observatory on each of the islands.
As some of you know, she is no longer of this world and her disappearance had affected me a lot. Our swim with the sperm whales is the most beautiful memory.
An association on the spot sent me this email:
We are always delighted to meet friends of Delphine. For the past two years, we have undertaken a large awareness and training campaign for operators and users of the sea (individuals, tourists and the curious) for a better practice of Dolphin Watching in Mauritius and in particular in the Tamarin Bay that you know so well. Our action is not yet finished because this month we are starting a large scientific study of these stenella and tursiops populations that come to visit us so regularly.
We would be delighted to meet you during one of your visits and share our experiences and knowledge. Do not hesitate to contact us:
- Jacqueline Sauzier, President of the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society
- Adele Cadinouche, Outreach and Training Project Manager
Within the framework of our scientific study, we are currently setting up a large database using for the moment the method of photo-identification, would you have photos of Delphine's time that you could send us. When she died, her mother took over all the information collected by Delphine and it is now quite difficult to retrieve them .... I thank you in advance and I look forward to meeting you.
If some people on the spot have been able to photograph or obtain information on these dolphins, contact them! It is important for their project.
Thanks to you. Sincerely.
Montreal, Canada, March 2008.