Monday, February 19, 2018

2017 best encounters with blue and Bryde’s whales in the Azores

Futurismo’s biologists do more than just guiding whale watching and swimming with dolphins tours. When we are out on the ocean we also collect data for our scientific research program. Each year several interns and students join the team to take part in this research and contribute to our understanding of the whales and dolphins of the Azores.



Blue whale


Blue whale

We currently have three of our biologists working on their Masters and one completing her PhD using the data we collect during Futurismo’s whale and dolphin watching tours. One of the main species that we are studying is the sperm whale that is resident in the Azores, but we are also learning a lot about migratory whales (mostly blue whales, fin whales, sei whales and humpbackwhales) as well as some of our resident dolphins such as Risso’s dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. By taking ID photographs and collecting sightings data such as GPS coordinates and behavioural data, we are trying to understand which species are seen most often when and were, any changes in populations over the years. Between 2008 and 2017 we have registered 11,333 encounters with 20 different whale and dolphin species! During the winter months we have more time to analyse our data and interpet the results, so we are currently comparing our data from 2017 to those from previous years. A quick glance at our results from 2017 already shows us that it was our best year on record for encountering blue whales and Bryde’s whales, our second best year for encountering humpback whales and our third best year on record for encountering sperm whales and fin whales. Over the next months we will be showcasing some more detailed work done by Futurismo’s biologists, so we welcome you to watch this space for some interesting updates.

Cetaceans registered:


By: Miranda van der Linde



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