09 Mar Liquid Jungle Media Volunteers for the Red Sea Dolphin Project
It’s very important for Liquid Jungle Media to volunteer for good causes. During our lives, we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy the most breathtaking natural sceneries both under and above the surface of the sea, and around the world. We filmed and photographed it all.
We can only show gratitude to nature by participating in projects that protect the environment and all the creatures that live in it. If it’s within our means to do some complimentary filming, help gathering photographic data, or aid in the logistics of an expedition, we will help those organizations with causes dear to our hearts.
Such is the case of the volunteering we do for HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association) and their Red Sea Dolphin Project. HEPCA is an Egyptian non-governmental organization (NGO) working in the field of marine and land conservation in theEgyptian Red Sea Governorate.
The region south of Marsa Alam, where tourism is still in its early stages, seems to represent arare example of unspoiled marine wilderness. Indications from previous dedicated researchhighlight that this largely untouched marine area is home to extraordinarily beautiful coral reefs,dolphins, dugongs, turtles, sharks, manta rays and other creatures. This area is likely to be hit by “traditional” mass tourism development in the near to medium future and this is certain to lead to the decline and possibly the disappearance of valuable habitats and associated flora and fauna.
In the attempt to advance the understanding of species presence, distribution and ecology, theRed Sea Dolphin Project was launched in 2010 as the first research project completely dedicated on dolphins and whales (cetacean) in the Egyptian Red Sea.
The Red Sea Dolphin Project started as a boatbased project that intended to investigate thesouthern areas of the Red Sea to provide the first scientific assessment of cetacean species andthe threats they face in the area. The research included visual and acoustic survey and tookexperts and volunteers from all over the world to some of the most remote location in the deepsouth of Egypt.
The project was concluded in 2012 and is now providing HEPCA and local agencies and policymakers with detailed information on the abundances of cetacean species, as well as distribution maps and a preliminary list of the main conservation concerns to the species.
Since 2013, the team has focused efforts on the spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) visiting the reefs off Marsa Alam. Here, dolphinbased tourism has boomed in the last decades and takeshundreds people every day swimming with wild animals, possibly representing a threat to theirwellbeing and survival. The Red Sea Dolphin Project is investigating spinner dolphin socialdynamics and population characteristics, as well as behavioral responses to tourism pressures inSamadai Reef (1h off Marsa Alam) and Satayah Reef (2h off Hamata). The overall goal is to propose site specific management recommendations to preserve the species in its natural habitats and, at the same time, allow tourism fruition.
Beside the data collection, the team works also in collaboration with local agencies, tour operators, dive centres and environmental groups on education and interpretation programs.Video and imagery are absolutely needed to properly deliver forceful, neat, clear conservation-oriented messages… not to forget their entertainment value!
Valentina Cucchiara, one of the founders of Liquid Jungle Media, joined the RSDP at its beginning, and followed it through until the end. It was an extraordinary experience during which Valentina provided photos and videos for the needs of the researchers, and learned immensely from them.
Since 2014, projects are carried out also in collaboration with a French NGO, Boomerang forEarth Conservation, which has recently launched a crowd funding campaign calling on individuals to support research and educational activities in 2014. If you want to learn more about how your donation could help The Red Sea Dolphin Project , learn about it and donate for this noble cause, if you choose to click here: