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“Network of Marine Mammal Observers” (NeMMO)

Globice has led the creation of a new regional programme called the “Network of Marine Mammal Observers" (NeMMO) which aims to enhance the collection of marine mammal data during opportunistic vessel-based work in the oceanic waters of the south-western Indian Ocean. The specific objectives are to: 
–    Identify suitable vessels (platforms of opportunity) and develop coopaerative partnerships with their owners/managers to maximize the geographic coverage and frequency of recorded observations in the SWIO, 
–    develop of a network of experienced, regional MMOs that can embark on identified platforms to collect systematic data on cetaceans, provide training opportunities and to foster collaboration among researchers and organizations,
–    centralize cetacean distribution data into a regional database, to ensure that the data are standardized, referenced and safely stored in order to be readily available for research and conservation initiatives.

The concept document is available here and will be soon available for download on the IndoCet website, on a dedicated NeMMO page. A logo was designed for this regional initiative, and NeMMO T-shirts were produced. 

In 2023-2024, five surveys were conducted as part of the NeMMO initiative: four on the patrol vessel OSIRIRS II and one on the research vessel N/O Marion Dufresne II, as part of the MAYOBS-25 cruise led by the Réseau de surveillance volcanologique et sismologique au large de Mayotte (REVOSIMA). These surveys involved 18 MMOs from Globice, Cetamada, CetaMaore, Green Attitude Foundation, MMCO and the University of La Reunion. 

These data have been centralized into a GIS database curated by Globice, which currently includes 1,077 cetacean sightings of 22 different species. This data is archived on the Sextant/SIMM-OI portal (Systeme d’Information Milieu Marin Océans Indien et Austral), implemented by Ifremer.

Contributors: Violaine Dulau, Adrian Fajeau