During the month of June, La Rochelle Université’s Pelagis observatory carried out a first biopsy campaign as part of the Delmoges project, which aims to better understand the interactions between dolphins and fishing activities in order to better identify solutions that will reduce these accidental captures.
On board of a 40-foot catamaran, 6 scientists and 2 sailors took part in this campaign with the aim of obtaining biopsies of common dolphins encountered offshore. In collaboration with several scientific organisations such as the Florida International University (FIU), the SOMME study office and the Breton association Skravik Expeditions, 3 operations were carried out:
- Biopsies of skin and blubber from off shore common dolphins
- Passive acoustic recordings to try to identify differences between the common dolphins of the plateau and offshore common dolphins (i.e. beyond the continental slope)
- Environmental DNA sampling in the presence and absence of common dolphins, which will be analysed later by IFREMER in Sète.
The campaign was a success with a total of 30 common dolphin biopsies, 7 environmental DNA samples and 10 acoustic recordings. In addition, 48 cetacean sightings of 8 different species were made and 1000 nautical miles were sailed with minimal consumption (only 300 L of fuel). The objective has also been reached for Skravik, which seeks to carry out scientific campaigns practically only by sail.