French English

Press release, March 2008

Cruises to the study of cetaceans and the preservation of biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea

For 4ème year, Cybelle Planète organizes sailing cruises to study marine life off the coast of the Mediterranean. Every week, a group of 6 8 to ecovolunteers, accompanied by a scientific guide and skipper, will go watch whales and dolphins, jellyfish, turtles, ...

in the Sanctuary of Marine Mammals: Pelagos. The entire team at sea will collect scientific data during the 7 days sailing. We program 13 weeks, from mid-June to mid-September.

Who can join the project?

The yards of eco-volunteering are open to all adults, no special qualifications are required. Participants will be trained and supervised by a scientific guide. The data collected during these cruises have been specifically thought to be both applicable by non-scientific people and exploited scientifically.

Progress of projects

Each shipyard lasts one week and takes place aboard a sailboat 15 meters. Most of the time the crew stays at sea, with nights off. The boat will also stop, depending on the needs and the weather, at the port or in the creeks of the Port Cros National Park and the Lérins Islands. Ecovolunteers participate fully in life on board (shopping, meal preparation, housework, night shifts ...). The atmosphere is quickly very friendly, the experience will be enriching both human and scientific.

Study site

The Pelagos Sanctuary is an area protected by an agreement signed in 1999 between France, Italy and Monaco for the protection of marine mammals and their habitat. It stretches from the Giens peninsula in southern Tuscany and northern Sardinia. This huge area is very rich in plankton and biodiversity is abundant.

Research programs

Since 2005, Cybelle Planète involved in a long-term research program, conducted by scientists at the institute écoOcéan. This is to assess the impact of marine traffic on whales and dolphins of the sanctuary. (Ecoocean.free.fr)
For the first year, the team will participate in Cybelle-Mediterranean program led by Cybelle Planète and a team of scientists 20aine. This project is to assess the long-term evolution of Marine Biodiversity Mediterranean, especially in connection with climate change. Thus, in addition to cetaceans, we collect off the information on marine turtles, fish, jellyfish, floating debris and ... (good indicator of environmental pollution). (Www.cybelle-mediterranee.org)

What species?

Several species of cetaceans are present in the sanctuary during the summer period, the most impressive being the fin whale, the second largest animal on earth with about twenty meters long on average. It is also observed sperm whales, pilot whales and several species of dolphins.
Four species of sea turtles are observable in the Mediterranean Sea, but sometimes very difficult to differentiate! There will also be Pelagia jellyfish, which have been invading our beaches for a few years, and singularly shaped moons.
We will also track the amount of floating debris on the surface, these data will be a good indicator of pollution and its annual and seasonal variations.

Usefulness of ecovolunteers

The eco-volunteers involved in collecting data, several people are constantly making observations from the ship's deck from sunrise to sunset and throughout the summer! The amount of collected data is an invaluable resource for researchers who could bring such a "labor" over such a long period. In addition, ecovolunteers finance themselves their stays and thus materially contributing to the project by allowing, among other things, renting a sailboat and the remuneration of a professional skipper ....

Stories of ecovolunteers

"Change of scenery ... Dare to enter the reality beyond the dream. ... And then it was too short week, tolerance and goodwill. ... Dolphins playing in front of the bow of the boat, the loud blast of the fin, tuna leaping out of the water ... The coves reassuring evening. ...Do not hesitate. Try it ... "Etienne July 2007

"1 week unattainable without contact with real life, off, in total communion with nature ... But this experience can not be told she lives. So do not hesitate, go for it! ... It is also a human experience, what fun to see the little stars in the eyes of others when you cross a gaze admiringly, like yours, then along a cetacean the boat. ... It puts the record straight, return to core values. Place the evidence. "Virginia September 2006

Prices :

7 days: + € 950 20 € for membership in the association

Cybelle Planète

Cybelle Planet is an organization created in 1901 2005.
We offer our members to participate in eco-volunteering projects, organized in partnership with specialists in biodiversity. The association organizes each summer construction sites for the study of whales and dolphins of the Mediterranean in the south of France. We also offer eco-volunteering a little of projects all around the world including through the International Network Ecovolunteer.
We are implementing biodiversity conservation projects in partnership with scientists, or ecovolunteers and researchers can work together. We are currently implementing the Cybelle Mediterranean project, a long-term monitoring of Mediterranean marine biodiversity.