One year ago (2017), the NGO GreenRope (that I’ve founded in 2013) organized the project called "Marine Biology Camp". 5 days deep in contact with the world of Marine Biology, studying cetaceans (thanks to the collaboration of the Jonian Dolphin Conservation) and sea turtles (thanks to the collaboration of the WWF Policoro). The first edition has been organized in April and we received so many applications that we could realize another edition in September. In total, 55 youngsters from several different countries (Italy, Hungary, France, England, Spain, Portugal, Lebanon, Trinidad & Tobago, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Sweden and more) took part in the camps. They could study cetaceans by the sea, observe their behaviour and collect important research data useful for their preservation and experience sea turtles conservation and rehabilitation activities. This is what we have realized during the camps (video by Andrea Gernone – my special friend and colleague in GreenRope):
Let’s go back to the present day.
Broadreach, a company from USA that organizes students travels worldwide, noticed this video and other news on a journal about our camps and they have contacted us and here we are: we have realized 2 Broadreach Marine Camps of 9 days each in June and July 2018.
I was leading the project for the Jonian Dolphin Conservation and I was supported by Gianluca, marine biologist of the WWF Policoro.
We could succeed to sight cetaceans basically every day: striped, short-beaked common, risso’s, bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales have been the sighted species.
Together we have also released in freedom rescued sea turtles of the species Caretta caretta after a rehabilitation period in the Sea Turtles Recovery Center of the WWF Policoro.
Moreover, trainings and brainstorming by Broadreach trainers (Katie and Matt), our team and external experts were realized every day. Days full of activities and emotions, waking up at sunrise in order to patrol the coast looking for sea turtles tracks and nests walking on the beach and using a drone.
Leading projects like this is something that I really love to do. That's why we have created the format of the "Marine Biology Camp". One of my dream is that South Italy, what I can call “my home”, the lands that I love and that I want to preserve, will become the venue that youngsters from every part of the world can visit in order to study cetaceans and sea turtles. I am sure that this will boost the conservation of these species and the entire Gulf of Taranto.
Here there is a gallery of the highlights of the camps composed by some of my shots and some pictures that I've collected by the participants.
Ps. A big thanks to Katie and Matt, the coordinators of the groups of students in both projects. Kind, funny, amazing people and hard workers. I am sure we will meet again dear friends.