Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rare Marine Life, Remote Locations

from Indonesia Oceanic Cetacean Program

A large proportion of the Indonesian species of whales and dolphin we see are considered rare in other parts of the world. Some are listed as endangered species. Orcas, pygmy and dwarf sperm whales, pilot and melon-headed whales, false and pygmy killer whales, Bryde's and minke whales, Risso's, Fraser's, rough-toothed, spotted and spinner dolphins, as well as pelagics such as tuna and marlin are all part of the living Sulawesi Sea.

Sperm whales and the majority of other oceanic cetaceans frequenting the area are highly specialised, deep-diving oceanic predators. In fact, if we like to consider ourselves divers because we occassionally submerge, then these creatures should be categorised as ' surfacers', as they occassionally surface!

Sperm whales, for example, spend about 10 minutes out of every hour on the surface. This means there are only around a dozen short surface intervals for each individual whale during daylight hours...

To be at the right place at the right time is one of the most difficult, yet essential necessities for a successful oceanic cetacean research program. Sophisticated hydrophones and other acoustic equipment, constant visual surveying and lots of experience is required to have close encounters while causing minimal disturbance.

Our research methods are scientifically designed to ensure minimal disturbance to cetaceans, yet it allows for discrete approaches to obtain positive photographic identifications of individual whales and dolphins.

APEX has been photographically studying cetaceans in Indonesian waters for numerous years now. As a result, we have an intimate knowledge of the whereabouts and biological hotspots frequented by these rare and spectacular marine mammals.

This information is then combined with preferred camera positions and anticipated whale behaviours to create ample and superb opportunities to film and photograph these animals in their natural habitat. In addition, North Sulawesi and the islands of the Sangihe-Talaud Archipelago are considered one of the most scenic in Indonesia.

Our Oceanic Cetacean Film & Photographic Expeditions are of the highest standards, designed for discerning environmental media professionals.

The expedition vessel is a stable platform, well equipped and sea worthy 15m sailing yacht. Expeditions are based in Manado, North Sulawesi and easily accessable with directl flights from Singapore, Phillipines, Bali, Java and other Indonesian islands. Expeditions to other IOCP research areas such as Komodo National Park and Nusa Tengara are possible.

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