TERIA is committed to the protection of marine mammals and sharks in partnership with environmental associations
For many years, TERIA has been helping various environmental associations concerned with the protection of endangered marine species. TERIA is highly involved in supporting its partners by conducting research, education and conservation activities for numerous species: whale sharks, basking sharks, sperm whales, humpback whales, porbeagle sharks and the five sharks considered to be the most dangerous in the world: the bulldog, tiger, longfin mako, hammerhead and great white sharks.
TERIA is very proud to support its partners MEGAPTERA, APECS & LORDS OF THE OCEAN in their missions.
Created in Mayotte in 1998, MEGAPTERA is a non-profit association that develops multiple programs of study, awareness and conservation of marine mammals, particularly in Madagascar, Reunion, Seychelles, Mauritius and Djibouti.
Programs promoting ecotourism for the benefit of local communities and conducted in collaboration with the local authorities of the countries concerned.
The MEGAPTERA x TERIA partnership was born in 2005 from the meeting between Daniel JOUANNET, President of TERIA at the time and Michel VELY, President of MEGAPTERA. Since then, TERIA has been involved in numerous satellite beacon deployment missions.
MAUBYDICK: observation of the movements of sperm whales in Mauritius
Beacon deployment and biopsy taking
Large breeding male - TERIAsat 3 beacon
In 2014, the MAUBYDICK project is born and is planned for a period of 5 years (2014 to 2018).
This project proposes to study :
- the movements of individuals in matriarchal groups around Mauritius
- their possible dispersion to the islands of the region (Rodrigues, Madagascar, Reunion, Seychelles, Comoros)
- the movements of large breeding males coming to mate in the waters of Mauritius during the year
The first mission takes place from 19 November to 4 December 2014 on the west coast of Mauritius. It consists of locating and photo-identifying sperm whales, taking skin samples and deploying beacons on the selected individuals. At the time, no satellite beacons had yet been deployed on sperm whales in the western Indian Ocean and virtually no information was available on the migration routes of this species. Considered to be the most reliable technique, beacon tracking has proved its worth.
As the main sponsor of the project, TERIA is financing 4 beacons: TERIAsat1, TERIAsat2, TERIAsat3 and TERIAsat4.
SHARKYDJ: in pursuit of whale sharks in Djibouti
1st beacon deployed (2016)
Photo-identification of a whale shark
It is in November that whale sharks are generally found in the Gulf of Tadjoura (in Djibouti) where large quantities of plankton are concentrated.
For more than 15 years, ecovolunteers have been going on missions to study the habits and movements of whale sharks off Arta and in the Goubbet.
The SharkyDJ mission begins in 2016, led by Daniel JOUANNET.
The objective was to successfully deploy a beacon to provide new data on the behaviour of whale sharks in this region. Thanks to constant research and beacon deployment, it is now possible to understand the evolution and behaviour of these species: depth of immersion, dive duration, water temperature, luminosity, etc.
Thanks to the support of TERIA, missions generally take place every year in January. As a historical partner of MEGAPTERA, TERIA continues to provide support by financing the beacons. This collection of satellite positioning data provides ever more in-depth knowledge of this endangered population.
MEGARA: satellite monitoring of humpback whales
Beacon deployment on humpback whale
The MEGARA project has been implemented jointly by the Sint Maarten National Nature Reserve, ATE and MEGAPTERA since 2014. The large cetaceans of this Indian Ocean sanctuary (established by the International Whaling Commission in 1979) are still little known.
Many questions arise about their movements:
- Do whales use migration corridors?
- Do they use ocean currents during their migration?
- Do they visit other breeding grounds on the way to their foraging grounds?
To answer these questions and gather basic information on the ecology of this species, an Argos beacon deployment programme in Rodrigues, Comoros and the Seychelles has been developed. These beacons, implanted in the blubber layer of the whales in a painless manner, make it possible to know their geographical position when they come to the surface to breathe.
The beacon thus provides information to a satellite, which relays it to researchers for analysis. These beacons are equipped with batteries that can last several years, but generally they only remain attached to the whales for a few weeks or months.
Of the 7 deployed beacons, 6 worked and therefore transmitted their positions.
Created in 1997, APECS (Association Pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Sélaciens) is an association in Brest that works for the conservation of sharks and rays, often threatened species, and more broadly for the preservation of marine ecosystems.
It contributes to the development of scientific knowledge through the implementation of monitoring programmes, carries out education and awareness-raising activities aimed at different audiences and provides its expertise to managers and decision-makers for the implementation of management measures.
Since 2015, TERIA has been a partner of APECS, which is very committed to the protection of endangered species. TERIA supports the PELARGOS programme for the monitoring of basking sharks.
PELARGOS: satellite tracking of basking sharks
Since 2009, APECS has been studying the movements of the basking shark, a giant that can be observed on the surface in some French coastal areas seasonally in spring and summer. These are most often food-rich areas where sharks come to filter plankton. We can then come across them swimming peacefully, most often alone, but also in small groups. Only the dorsal fin and the tip of the tail fin are visible.
By deploying satellite tracking beacons, APECS wishes to study the large-scale movements of this species as well as its dives. The idea is to be able to assess the precision to certain areas of the sharks being tracked, to locate the areas they occupy in autumn and winter, and to better understand how the species uses its habitat.
The PELARGOS program is launched in 2015. It aims to continue the work already underway but also to deploy a new type of tracking beacon that will enable a finer scale analysis of movements in order to understand how (already) tagged sharks use French coastal waters.
This programme is divided into 3 annual phases:
- Year 1: Beacon deployment
- Year 2: Deployment of beacons
- Year 3: Data Analysis
TERIA is pleased to support this organization through the funding of these beacons.
Deployment of the Marie B beacon
LORDS OF THE OCEAN Association
Lords of the Ocean is the adventure of a lifetime for four young people who have set out to make their dreams come true. This dream: to sail for six months to meet the sharks that are supposedly the most dangerous for mankind. The four adventurers, passionate about sharks, wanted to raise public awareness and change the perception we have of these animals. During this trip, they also took part in scientific programs: plankton sampling, DNA sampling while apnea is still active, and the recovery of data from underwater transmitters.
To immortalize this human adventure, a web series with a young and offbeat tone was created. Setting out from Brest in January 2019 aboard Mecton (their 12-metre sailing boat), they have covered more than 16,000 km under sail, passing through the Canary Islands, Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, the Bahamas, the Panama Canal, Malpelo Island in Colombia and the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
A total of 13 species of sharks are encountered, including the bulldog shark, tiger shark, great hammerhead shark and longfin mako.
TERIA is an admirer and has been keen to encourage them in their efforts by giving them its support during this 6-month journey.
Find the episodes of their web-series on their Youtube channel by clicking on ici.