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What is and how is born the whale watching

Since some years in America has become very diffuse the whale-watching, the observation of the whales its a sort of naturalistic tourism, having the purpose to allow anyone to know the beauty, and the importance of the marine ecosystem in general, and of the cetaceans in particular. It's the modern answer to the massacres perpetrated in the last centuries, and unfortunately in part still nowadays, from the hunters of whales, that have carried, in many cases, on the hem of the extinction much species of cetaceans. So in this case the money that can be earned from these splendid animals does not derive from their killing, but simply from their observation. Still more important is the didactic function and of formation of a social enviromentalist conscience, to which we can only arrive with the acquaintance, best if from the alive observation.


Ideal conditions for easier sights

The optimal environmental conditions for the sight of cetaceans are the following; it is necessary to have a calm sea or little moved (inferior force 4 - Douglas scale -), with wind absence (inferior force 5 - scale Beaufort -) and of long-wave, will be in fact more simple to notice an unusual movement on a flat surface for being able to focus the attention on every successive signal; with optimal conditions it will be succeeded to notice the line of the fins of the large cetaceans, or their jump or finally their unmistakable breath also to several hundreds of meters of distance; without those conditions the sight probabilities diminish drastically. With the best environmental conditions the observer will find itself in the center of a theoretical circle of observation with a beam of approximately 6 kilometers.  


Techniques of sight

- Not to fix a point in particular, but to get accustomed to scan the horizon rhythmically. 

- If in company is useful to subdivide with the companions the arc of the horizon (giving a part to everyone). 

- If possible is useful to go up on the boat in order to widen just the horizon of observation 

- You have to know what you expect to see (a tail, a fin, a back or a jump). 

- You have to learn to distinguish objects appearing and vanishing but in the same point and maintaining the same shape (it can be buoys also to the drift), from the typical beacons of a cetacean that normally vanish in order then to reappear in a different point continuously modifying the own dimensions and shape 

- You have to know to characterize the beacons pointers of the presence of the cetaceans as the presence of marine birds concentrated in a point (often the cetaceans assemble in a point, in order then eat them, branches of fish and to the banquet also the birds participate). 

- Do not still use the binoculars, initially in fact to eyes covers a visual angle much greater, it will go used only after the sight of something interesting. 

- It will be useful, once a cetaceo will be characterized immersosi, to imagine where a cetacean plunged will re-emerge, but the variables are many, from the size of the animal to its species to the type of activity that these is completing.


Rules for the observation

After to have sighted the cetaceans and respected all the cautions for the approach to them (useful above all for who make observations "self-made") is necessary to follow the following norms for a correct observation: 

- make the observation for not more than 15 minutes 

- do not scream, strike the water or emit strong noises (hiss, slap of hands) 

- do not to throw food 

- do not to plunge with the cetaceans, do not swim with them if not for valid scientific reasons 

- do not touch them


Techniques of acknowledgment

Now is opportune to decide if we want to be limited to an amusing but only behold observation, or as we advise we want to be given a didactic cut the same one. In this case it will be useful and amusing to recognize the species of cetaceans sighted, through the observation of the peculiar characteristics of everyone of them (we advise to such purpose to print and to carry with you our comfortable and short card for the sight and for the acknowledgment that will guide you to a easier sights). 

It will be necessary to focus the attention on 5 fundamental characteristics in such way from beeing able to quickly verifying them on the sight card. 

1 Dimensions: not always easy to calculate, but should be useful some expedients; you can compare the dimension of the cetacean with the boat one; you have to know that often the length of the emerged part of the cetacean is inferior to the half of its total length; in case of group of cetaceans you have to measure the adults. 

2 dorsal Fin: you have to observe the shape, the position on the body of the cetacean, the dimensions well. 

3 Breath: also in this case you will have to observe the shape, position and dimensions

4 Head: you have to observe shape, presence or less of the rostrum and his form if present. 

5 Color: without beeing tricked from the glares of the sun, will be necessary to observe the coloration of the back, the fins and the body and the eventual presence of signs and shadings.


Collecting info

Print some copy of our published card of sight compile them (possibly endured after the sight, in order to avoid forgetfulnesses or memories mistaken) and send us equipped if possible with photographies or video (we will be forming our archives and we will send to the search institutes the scientific material received). On these will be fundamental to annotate position, date and hour of the sight, number and species of met mammals because the agencies for the study of the cetaceans of the Mediterranean has a strong interest to collect how many more possible information about those animals for their safeguard, and that will be possible also thanks to your aid. In the case in which you enclose to the card photographies or video it is fundamental that these refer to the sight annotated on the same card, will be useful therefore to annotate every reference in order to avoid confusion. Every card refers to a single sight (of one or more animals) but in the case in which the sight comprises more species will be well to compile more cards.

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