The Ionian Dolphin Project (IDP) website came to life at the end of April. The aim of this new initiative was to increase the interest about the conservation of cetaceans inhabiting the beautiful waters of the Ionian Sea, by encouraging residents, charter/flotillas sailing holiday operators and visitors to the area to report their sightings of cetaceans, through a user-friendly online form, while providing information on the cetacean species present in Greece and promoting a basic code of conduct (Be Dolphin SMART!) to minimize the potential adverse effects of our boats to these amazing creatures.
I am glad to inform you that it seems as if we had succeeded; until now we have received more than 50 dolphin sighting reports!!
The success in this pioneer initiative in Greek Ionian waters could not have been possible without the collaboration of Sunsail (also offering logistical support), Neilson, Sail Ionian, Sailing Holidays and Island Sailing. KG medmarinas management group, owners of Marina Lefkas and Gouvia Marina, have also helped greatly to spread the word among their clients. Our friends from WWF-Greece and THE IONIAN magazine have played a key role in helping us to promote our website, as well as our research and public awareness and education activities. Recently, we have been approached by the Vliho Yacht Club (Lefkada), which is also willing to collaborate. A big THANK YOU to all of them for their interest and generous help. The IDP hopes to involve more sailing flotilla companies in the future. Others willing to help us can contact us any time and we will get back to them ASAP.
Everyone who has reported a sighting to us has been punctually contacted (all of them have provided an e-mail) and acknowledged for their collaboration. Many of them had not initially provided us any images or video but once contacted have been very diligent in providing us support material that has allowed us to confirm (or to identify) the species identity. I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of providing us, whenever possible, some images or videos of your dolphin sightings. Nowadays the use of digital cameras, cell phones and other devices capable of recording easily several minutes of video, or to capture high quality digital images is widespread among most of us. Using our online sighting form, links to your youtube videos and your image files can be easily attached to your report.
Finally, I would like to thank each and everyone of you who has taken the time to share with us your dolphin experiences. Until today, 14th of September 2012, we have received reports from the following people: Adonis Maltezos, Adrian Preston, Anthony Bean, Boneca Verhagen, Bruce, Cavallieratos Spiros, David Gilbert, Diederik, Evert Dieperink, Giles Ferrier, Ian Molesworth, Ian Saxby, Irini Ourania Politi, Iris, James Scanlan, Jeff Pickett, Jürgen Fleissner, Kevin Jones, Koukoulioti Anastasia, Linda Paisley, Lisa Stansbie, Mandy Trusler, Neulinger Horst, Nick Baker, Nick walker, Oscar Poos, Pecher Francois, Peter Hudson, Peter little, Roberto Galanis, Rosemary Yeagle, Sophia Large, Stephen Prescott, Steve Clark, Tsiropoulas Nikos, Wouter Vlierman, and Zsuzsanna Pereszlenyi.
We are looking forward to receive more information on sightings from you and your crew; and please, do not forget… Be Dolphin SMART!!