by Dr. Krista Sherman
On November 30th, 2018 The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization (BMMRO) hosted its fourth training workshop on marine mammal stranding event in partnership with the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and Dolphin Cay, Atlantis. Participants included Fisheries Officers (DMR), marine mammal specialists (Dolphin Cay, Altantis), veterinarians, scientists (Perry Institute for Marine Science, DMR and Ministry of the Environment), staff from the Bahamas National Trust and BREEF as well as three students from Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholars Programme.
Above: Group photo from The Bahamas Marine Mammal Stranding Network Workshop. © BMMRO
The workshop was led by scientists Dr. Charlotte Dunn (President, BMMRO) and Dr. Diane Claridge (Director, BMMRO) and provided an overview of marine mammal species found in The Bahamas, national regulations protecting marine mammals, stranding events, protocols for safely handling live and dead animal strandings, and sample collection. A live demonstration of dolphin anatomy and practice simulations for rescuing live marine mammals were also performed.
Live demonstration of dolphin (dorsal view) anatomy facilitated by a marine mammal specialist at Dolphin Cay, Atlantis.
Live demonstration of dolphin (ventral view) anatomy facilitated by a marine mammal specialist at Dolphin Cay, Atlantis.
Fisheries Officers engaging in practice simulations to secure and transport a live marine mammal. © BMMRO
PIMS Senior Scientist, Dr. Krista Sherman attended the workshop and will be on call to assist with future rescue efforts and marine mammal stranding events. The Bahamas Marine Mammal Stranding Network has been in existence for 10 years and includes more than 70 trained participants across 15 islands.
For more information on BMMRO and to become involved in the marine mammal stranding network visit http://www.bahamaswhales.org/strandings.aspx.