Feature: Cristyn Ashley
We made it! We are finally ready to start the field work! On October 26, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, one of our main sponsors, kindly organized a community event to sign the inauguration of the UAE Dolphin Project. The focus was on raising public awareness about the project, its aims and the unveiling of the projects boat; a 30ft Duretti Sportfisher. Duretti Boat Manufacturing kindly provided the vessel so that the project could conduct dolphin research surveys along the Dubai coastline.
To kick off the event, Dr. Ada Natoli, the project coordinator gave a presentation to the members of the DMYC on why she began the project, why it is important and how everybody can contribute by reporting their sightings. Twelve volunteers took part in putting up information posters, taking photos, and running activities including a quiz competition, draw a dolphin competition, and dolphin puzzles. The prizes included a chance to name one of the local dolphins we previously identified, a family ticket to the Dubai dolphinarium show, and first prize was the chance to become a crew member for the day and participate in data collection and recording.
There was a great turnout, and it was fantastic to see that there is such interest in local marine wildlife. We were grateful for the opportunity to answer any questions on the project and dolphins in general. Perhaps the most important opportunity was to highlight the importance of reporting any dolphin sightings by the public to this project.
Thank you DMYC for your continued support and to Brunella, Chris, Cristyn, Dan, Elias, Farah, Joel, Phil, Traill, Valerie, and Vanessa for all your help.