The conservation organization Physalus started the Large Marine Vertebrates Project Philippines in 2010—conducting scientific research on cetaceans, sharks, rays, and sea turtles throughout the Philippines. In addition to research, LAMAVE teaches classes on marine environmental issues in local schools and conducts marine wildlife stranding workshops all over the region. In 2012, LAMAVE began research in Oslob, Cebu on the potential impacts of whale shark feeding tourism. I continue to act as a scientific advisor on LAMAVE projects.
Photographing a Bryde’s whale off Pamilacan Island, Bohol, Philippines
The Babuyan Islands are a remote archipelago off the northern tip of Luzon, Phillipines stretching into the Pacific towards Taiwan. Humpback whales in the Babuyan Islands have only been known to science since 1999 and the islands and adjacent mainland area represent the only known breeding ground for these whales in the country. The non-profit conservation group Balyena.org are piecing together where these whales fit into the larger population structure of North Pacific humpbacks and have identified over 160 individuals by photographing unique patterns on the underside of their tails.