Earthwatch is sad to announce that on the 7th July 2008 the decision was taken to end the Spanish Dolphins project for the foreseeable future and cancel all remaining volunteer teams.
This difficult decision was made by Earthwatch and lead scientists Ana Canadas and Ricardo Sagarminaga because the work conducted over the last ten years has resulted in the exponential growth of the project leading to more time intensive tasks that do not require the input of volunteers. Earthwatch hopes to support this project again in the future and will maintain close contact with Ana and Ricardo to ensure that Earthwatch volunteers are kept abreast of developments on board the Toftevaag.
We are proud to have supported this project since 1999 by offering €380,000 and 580 volunteers and we remain indebted to both scientists for their hard work and dedication over the last ten years.
Earthwatch volunteers have contributed an enormous amount of time and energy on the Spanish Dolphins project and their efforts have been richly rewarded. In 2002 results from this project were used to designate marine protected areas in the Alboran Sea. The research further informed the 2006 decision by the International Maritime Organisation to divert shipping lanes off the southern coast of Spain in order to avoid critical bottlenose dolphin foraging grounds. Through cooperation with Spanish fisherman Ric and Ana have also designed measures to reduce the accidental by-catch of loggerhead turtles by 90 per cent.
If you have any further questions or would like to contact Ricardo and Ana via Earthwatch please do not hesitate to contact us.