Léa Delhaise experience | 2023
The team taught me the different marine species found in the area and the way to recognise them. I learned how to look for marine mammals at sea and how to approach them in the most respectful way. I also learned how to capture good pictures of the animals and how to be in charge of a dolphin photo-ID catalogue. Indeed, the company is identifying and keeping track of the dolphins they encounter thanks to the photo-identification method. As each dolphin’s dorsal fin has a unique shape and unique scars, it is possible to differentiate and recognise each individual based on pictures of their dorsal fins. The company has a catalogue per species, containing pictures of the dorsal fins and the assigned codes of all the dolphins’ they sighted. Those catalogues give important information as they enable the study of the migration patterns, the groups composition and the individual behaviours of marine mammals. Such research is necessary to improve scientific knowledge and the conservation of these marine mammals. While being there I was in charge of the Risso’s dolphin catalogue and it was very fun to do.
Overall, this internship taught me a lot and I got to see how to run a dolphin-watching company that is also involved in the scientific research. Mar Ilimitado’s team members are very professionals and super friendly so it was a pleasure to work with them. I enjoyed a lot my time there.”