The weather is starting to become less predictable here in Barataria Bay, and the CARMMHA field team is working abbreviated hours to avoid thunderstorms.
We’re hoping we get a nice day on Friday, but the next few days look stormy. Luckily, we’re on a good pace for the number of dolphins we’re hoping to study. Today, despite the weather, we caught and released two juvenile females.
With the extra wind and waves, today is a good time to talk about the boats we use for our fieldwork, and the expert boat operators that make our work possible. For this Barataria Bay trip, our team of ~60 personnel is working from 8 boats that include special modifications for working with dolphins safely.
The health assessments require careful coordination to accomplish the variety of tasks involved.
The boat operators, and their vessels, are essential to making that communication as smooth and effective as possible. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about some of the work that will take place after the health assessments, including reproductive follow-up surveys and photographic-identification surveys.
Dolphins captured and released today
Today, due to the weather, we only worked with two dolphins: a pair of juvenile females. A thunderstorm moved in quickly after we got the dolphins in hand, so we performed a limited set of analyses before releasing the animals early and returning to the LDWF dock.
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About this field update
The CARMMHA Barataria Bay Health Assessment wrapped up last month! The team spent two weeks on Grand Isle, LA and had a very successful fieldwork effort. During the trip, CARMMHA Research Coordinator Ryan Takeshita (with plenty of help from others on the team!) kept a field journal to share here on the CARMMHA website. Over the next two weeks, we’ll post daily blog entries from that field journal. In some of the entries, we have a Question and Answer section with marine mammal veterinarians responding to questions from Evie, a four and half-year-old scientist in training from Ellicott City, MD. We hope you enjoy our field updates!