SOURCE: The Moorings
CLEARWATER, FL–(Marketwire – October 6, 2010) – The Moorings, the world’s premier yacht charter company, is pleased to sponsor Expedition Biosphere Fakarava, a marine mammal research and conservation initiative. This research mission focuses on studying whales and dolphins in a vast region of the South Pacific, French Polynesia’s Tuamotu and Gambier Islands, with special emphasis at Fakarava, Raraka, Aratika, Toau and Kauehi. These coral atolls near Tahiti have been designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve.
Dr. Michael Poole, expedition leader, commented, “This area may harbor a distinct humpback whale population, as well as several dolphin species that remain poorly understood, and could be a crucial component for the conservation and management of marine mammals throughout the South Pacific.” Noting their research findings to date in the Gambier Islands, Dr. Poole added, “…all of our data here are research firsts. No one has ever before photographically identified humpbacks at these islands; no one has recorded whale song here; no one has obtained DNA from whales here. So, this is all very good and very important for understanding this endangered species within French Polynesia and across the entire South Pacific, which in turn allows appropriate conservation measures to be taken on their behalf.”
The Moorings is dedicated to leading the industry in sustainable tourism and providing vacations that offer unique cultural experiences, produce economic benefits for local communities and have a minimal impact on the environment. Cheryl Powell, Chief Operating Officer of The Moorings, remarked, “Preservation of our marine environments for future generations is imperative, and as a company, we’re dedicated to bringing heightened awareness globally to environmental conservation and preservation. The objectives identified by the Expedition Biosphere Fakarava researchers are a perfect complement to our efforts as well, and we’re proud to sponsor such an important project.”
The Moorings provided the research team with a Moorings 4600 4-cabin/4-head catamaran from their charter base in Raiatea, French Polynesia, which was used as a mobile operations base for investigation and reporting during a period of their research in September 2010. Throughout this time, regular field activity reports, photos and videos were provided at http://www.moorings.com/ExpeditionBiosphere, and further updates will be added as new findings are evaluated.
The research team includes Dr. Michael Poole, Dr. Marc Oremus, Renee Albertson, Pamela Carzon and Captain Alain Portal. Expedition Biosphere Fakarava has also been made possible by the Ministry of the Environment in French Polynesia, the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium (SPWRC), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Dolphin & Whale Watching Expeditions (DWWE).
The Moorings, the world’s premier yacht charter company, has delivered unmatched quality, service and attention to detail since 1969. Sail-it-yourself bareboat yachts, crewed yachts with captain and chef, and power yacht charters are available. The Moorings is owned by TUI Travel, PLC, one of the largest and most successful travel and tourism companies in the world. Trust in TUI: Your vacation is in safe hands.
Head of Marketing, North America