Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique - To celebrate the arrival and honour the greatness of the Humpback Whale, Friday the 5th of July saw Mozambique’s first Welcoming the Whale’s Festival taking place in the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve. Over the past decade Dolphin Encountours Research Center (DERC) has been tracking the migration of these mammoth beings. A steady increase in numbers since the abolishment of whaling now sees thousands of these sentient beings on migration as they make their way up the East African coastline to their calving and mating grounds.
There are however many perils on the way, from entanglements, to ship strikes, excessive noise and tourism disturbance, these marine mammals have a lot to cope with. Through events and activities like these we can create an awareness and foster change.
The day kicked off with a visit from the local school which saw 30 children learn about the humpback whale migration, why they are so special and what we can do to help them. Beach activities followed with a guided beach clean-up and micro-plastic survey. A hearty well deserved lunch followed kindly sponsored by Sapphire Sands and each child was gifted with a metal straw!
The afternoon event included an opening presentation with citizen scientist and founder of DERC Angie Gullan on the history of marine mammal strandings in the reserve; followed by a talk presented by Sabrina Sykes on why whales strand and what to do in the event you find yourself in this situation. A very interesting presentation was given by Ronel Friend from Enviro Quest on the plastic pollution problem we are facing and we finished off with Llyod Edwards from Raggy Charters who wowed us with some fantastic images and information on the whales.
A heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who helped and joined us in the first Welcoming the Whales mini festival in the PPMR. For more information on how you can get involved with next years festival please contact email@example.com