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Research

Whale And Dolphin Fin Profiling

Photographs are taken of any animals with dorsal fins that are spotted in the bay and sent to the Centre For Dolphin Studies for identification. This helps keeps track of the population density. The endangered humpback dolphins are monitored especially closely. Like fingerprints, no two fins are the same.

Knysna Seahorse Population Density

A preliminary study on the status of the Knysna seahorse was completed on the Bitou river. A group of our researchers continue to go out to the river and look for the endangered species in hopes of proving that they still occupy the area.

Tag and Release Fishing

As it is tag and release, the information of the breed of fish caught is recorded along with the tag number before the fish is released. These fish are eventually re-caught somewhere further along the coastline and the information from their tags are sent into a national database house at ORI (Oceanographic Research Institute). The information that is gathered shows the distance that each fish has traveled from the time of its release to the time of its capture, along with the size increase that has occured during its release period. Some amazing information has already been captured.

River Health Evaluation

A mini SASS evaluation is done to establish the water qualities in the rivers in order to maintain a healthy environment.  This allows us to act upon the early warning signs of decreasing health and set a good example for the community. In order to complete a SASS evaluation you must capture bug larvae, identify them, and finally score them on a matrix according to their sensitivity to disturbance.

Animal Spatial Distribution

In order to work towards our ultimate goal of providing a bay management plan, it is important to know where the animals are located in the bay. We regularly join Ocean Blue Adventures on their whale watching trips to record the GPS coordinates numbers, and species of various marine mammals and add it to our map!

Animal Autopsies

When an animal strands dead along Plettenberg Bay’s beaches, ORCA Foundation is occasionally given the chance to assist in a post-mortem examination on its body. These examinations are done either by ORCA Foundation, or while assisting Bay World in their research. Animal autopsies not only allow us to increase our understanding of Plett’s animals, but also enable us, in some circumstances, to determine the causes of their deaths.

Video of a pygmy sperm whale dissection