Scientists on quest for harbour porpoises

by    DiveSSI    23rd May 2017
Harbour porpoises (c) Charlie Phillips
Corinna and Alexander start on their Expedition OstSeeTiere from the Stralsund Harbor. © Diana Quade / OZEANEUM Stralsund
Harbour porpoises (c) Charlie Phillips

Wind direction determines route

Harbour porpoises are in the spotlight!

Dr Corinna Hoffmann and
Alexander Holtz are very hopeful about spotting them during their
100-day Expedition OstSeeTiere in the Baltic Sea. They had set off on
May 2nd, a day later than planned due to the strong north-easterly wind.

Dr Hoffmann worked as a parental representation in the museum pedagogy
at OZEANEUM in Stralsund. During this time, the idea for this
expedition materialised. At the same time, she felt that it could also
draw attention to the OstSeeTiere app
developed at the German Oceanographic Museum.

This app allows sightings
and strandings of marine mammals, such as porpoises, cone seals and
seals, in the Baltic Sea to be reported easily and conveniently using a
smartphone or tablet. It also helps to promote the museum and OZEANEUM
to the public.

During their 100-day mission, the biologist and the skilled
chimneysweeper are exploring the Baltic Sea on their eight-metre boat
Vacuna, searching for picturesque landscapes and cultural
peculiarities, focusing particularly on the eastern marine animals in
the sea and along the coast. Their route is not fixed - the wind
direction will determine their next stop.

Places like Stockholm,
Helsinki, Riga, Gdansk, St Petersburg and Kaliningrad are on the list.
The islands of Bornholm and Gotland, as well as the archipelago, are
also part of this journey through all the countries bordering the
Baltic Sea.

Most of all, the scientists hope to see harbour porpoises. As the only
domestic whale in the Baltic Sea, they live in the central Baltic Sea.
They are endangered, with only about 500 animals left in the world. In
addition to harbour porpoises, the scientists are also on the lookout
for other marine animals.

Diving equipment is available on board for
them to explore the underwater world. In this expedition, the camera is
as equally important as the microscope – a weekly expedition report on
the latest updates is being posted here

Written by
23rd May 2017
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