Field Report From Ecuador

Day One:

After four planes, misplaced luggage and countless Sudoku puzzles I arrived  my final destination, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador some  5,321 miles from Maui, Hawaii. I am here to document a two-day whale festival and Pacific Whale Foundation’s 11 year  presence in a growing Whalewatch destination.

I plan to capture the transformation of a small fishing to an epic whalewatching destination. I also want to highight conservation efforts for sustainable eco-tours and communal participation and the local celebration to protect humpback whales and the Machilla Marine Park.

2013-2014 Whale Season Summary

We just finished a wonderful milestone – the first time that the research department completed systematic transect surveys on our research vessel Ocean Protector throughout the entire whale season (December – April). We were hampered by some windy weather in April but overall it was a successful season. January and February had the most whale sightings, as usual, although we did see whales regularly throughout all of the season.

Some of the highlights of this whale season were:

  • 55 survey days and 455 hours in the field, covering 3218 nautical miles.
  • 293 sightings of humpback whales.
  • 12 sightings of bottlenose dolphins.
  • 11 sightings of spotted dolphins.
  • 5 sightings of spinner dolphins.
  • 3 encounters with false killer whales.
  • 1 encounter with short-finned pilot whales.

Thank you to our wonderful interns and volunteers, as well as our members and supporters whose donations continue to fund our research efforts.