Let’s launch it! This is the official website of the UAE dolphin project, a non-profit initiative that aims to gather information on the local dolphin population and the raise public awareness on these species. It took a long way to get here and the input and patience of many people that truly made this possible. So thank you to everyone that has supported me in the past year and a half sharing ideas, discussing research plans and funding opportunities.
Before adventuring into this “building a webpage business”, last spring I tested the public interest in dolphins and the will to help collecting more information on the local dolphin population. I have been in contact with some diving clubs, some Marinas, I interviewed some of the usual users of the Dubai coastline (see Occasional Sighting Survey) and the response has always been enthusiastic.
Now we have to make it work, fill it up with your sightings and spread the information and I hope it will continue to grow.
As first step of the public awareness strategy of the project, my target is to reach as many people as possible, through the numerous Dubai’s diving clubs, the marinas, the public and private sector. And then is up to YOU to feed information… and to us to conduct a dedicated boat survey to obtain scientific baseline information on the status of the local population.
Why is your information essential? Because dolphin research cannot be done alone. It needs the concerted effort of everyone. Dolphins spend most of their time underwater, they are not easy to see and the sea is BIG! Even the most skilled cetacean researchers can survey an area for hours, not seeing anything, and at the same time a casual boater makes the most amazing sighting! As there is no information on the local population, your occasional sighting reports are essential to gain an idea of where these species are most frequently seen and better target a dedicated survey. And you are already doing it! I searched UTube and I was surprised at how many videos of occasional sightings have been posted! You can view a collection of them from the homepage of the project website and if you have more, please let me know, I am sure I have missed some.
Through the website at the “Sighting map” page, everybody can directly see his sighting and all the information that has provided. You can also find information on how approach dolphins safely and make the most of your sighting, and a species identification booklet will be soon available. So stay tuned!
The Project is also linked to the main social networks to reach everybody in the easiest way and gives different options to report a sighting. If you have suggestion how to improve this, let us know. For now, let’s give it a go and make it work! Report your sighting!!