Hello Internet users,
With the recent oil spill on Mauritius, I was angry and sad about this pollution because I know this beautiful place very well. I thought of Delphine Legay and all the people I met in 1999. I then looked for news of her family Legay in France and could have an answer.
I was a volunteer for Delphine Legay in 1999 on Mauritius and Rodrigues to help her in her research on marine mammals. It was at the very beginning of her program and I was probably her first assistant. I stayed there for a good month and kept in touch with her afterwards. I thought I would come back one day to continue her work.
But she left too soon in 2001.
I can't forget my swim with 8 sperm whales or bottlenose dolphins and working with her was unique. We were connected by the same love of cetaceans and by chance we were born on the same day: a January 25.
Here are some pictures warmly donated by his family between 1999 and 2001.
Also it has been edited a - Whales and dolphins guide of Mauritius - and Delphine is mentioned in the introduction:
"Tribute to Delphine Legay (1973-2001):
Recipient of a grant from the Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet Foundation for Vocation in 1997, Delphine Legay was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, where she was writing a thesis on the behavioral biology of cetaceans. In Mauritius, Delphine introduced "their" dolphins to the Mauritian people and developed an observation program conducive to the protection of dolphins.
Unfortunately, Delphine passed away in 2001, while swimming with the dolphins.
Passionate and devoted, Delphine has devoted all her energy, with tenacity and professionalism, to complete her observatory project in Mauritius. She has left numerous documents and photos of cetaceans living in the Indian Ocean. The work she started in Mauritius was part of the first whale observatory in the region. Born of a Mauritian mother, Delphine came to Mauritius in 1999 to undertake a study of the dolphin population on the west coast of the island, particularly the Tamarin Bay, for his doctoral thesis. Our island became her new home. Here she founded the Association - Ceta-Squale - to support research projects on whales and sharks, and the interactions that can exist between these two important marine species.
Delphine had several important goals while completing her study, including educating local communities about the need to protect marine life through training, involving them in research, and talking to children. She also wanted to contribute to the protection of marine biodiversity by writing instructions on how to behave in a respectful manner towards the animals of the sea.
During this period, Delphine chose to promote tourism in the region by developing ecotourism activities to raise funds for her research. She took tourists on her boat to observe dolphins.
In doing so, it has helped manage the emerging dolphin watching industry in a way that ensures species protection and encourages awareness of the importance of protecting biodiversity.
Delphine's photographs have been used throughout this guide, and we have We hope that, based on his work and inspiration, we will continue to encourage the discovery and appreciation of the marine environment of Mauritius.
Lorraine, Quebec, Canada - September 2020