Better late than never for this post! It was a year ago (Dec 19) that the MWDW science team travelled to Barcelona to take part in the 2nd World Marine Mammal Conference. It was a combination of the European Cetacean Society and Society of Marine Mammalogy (southern hemisphere) who usually meet independently each year or every two years. This is only the second time the two groups have merged together for a joint conference. There were 2,500 delegates from 95 countries; all researchers, educators or students working in the field of marine mammal science.
The conference itself consisted of four days of back to back seminars, short and long talks, and over 1,000 poster presentations. An additional two days of workshops allowed smaller groups to meet and discuss particular topics. The MWDW attended ‘Keep on Gramping 2.0’ which was a get together of Risso’s dolphins researchers from across the globe. Risso’s are extremely understudied worldwide, and few places have populations that are accessible enough for researchers to study them with any regularity. The workshop consisted of 30 researchers from 16 study sites. One of the key outcomes was that a central online ‘hub’ needed to be created, whereby all Risso’s researchers can share and present work.
In January 2020, members of Keep on Gramping stayed in touch in order to create an online presence for all things Risso’s. MWDW’s Bryony Manley led the way by creating a website containing a library of all scientific papers about the species, all known information of life history and behaviour, and to link all study sites together. The website can be viewed here https://keepongramping.wordpress.com/ A facebook page has also been created https://www.facebook.com/KeepOnGramping
At the conference, MWDW also presented a scientific poster detailing our photo ID of Risso’s in Manx waters. This is the fourth poster presentation MWDW have presented at the annual conference since 2007.