After discovering the wonders of marine life Emily Major followed her new-found passion to Tenerife to help conserve marine mammals.
1. Why did you choose this particular project?
I chose this project because of my new-found love for marine life and marine mammals. I am eager to learn more about them and contribute to their conservation.
2. Which kind of work and activities did you do during your project?
During the project, we carried out boat surveys, which involved recording encounters with cetaceans and noting down species, GPS locations, times, group number and demographic, along with the behaviours they displayed. We were also taught how to input this data into the database, and were shown how the data we collected would be used in the wider project.
3. How did the culture and people differ to home, and what were the locals like?
The culture and the people were lovely! I felt very at home! It was a pleasant surprise. The scenery in Tenerife is also gorgeous!
4. What was the accommodation and other volunteers/staff like?
The accommodation was very homely, it felt relaxed. I shared a room with two lovely girls and the other volunteers were also very friendly! The staff were so amazingly helpful and would happily answer any questions. It was a really nice environment to live and work in.
5. What was your most amazing moment or your best memory?
The most amazing moment of the trip for me was seeing a pod of 100 plus spotted dolphins surfing waves, breaching and bow-riding! They looked like they were having such fun! I also dived for the first time during the project! I am sure I would not have been able to do this if I had not had the guidance of the lovely staff – it was unbelievable to see the marine world from below the water’s surface.
6. Do you feel the work you were doing was worthwhile?
I really felt like the work we were doing was worthwhile – every survey mattered! Every piece of data essential!
7. What sort of wildlife did you encounter?
I was lucky enough to encounter pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins and spotted dolphins whilst on the trip! Unforgettable!
8. What were you hoping to learn while on project, and have you achieved those goals?
I went on the trip hoping to learn marine mammal surveying skills and how this contributes to their conservation – and I certainly learned that and more! I also learned about marine mammal identification, cultural history and some Spanish too!
9. Any tips and advice you might like to pass on to future volunteers?
I would certainly advise to take a camera and some binoculars. I would also recommend adding a few days onto your trip before or after the project to explore the island and mount Teide!
10. What do you have planned next?
Next I would like to participate in more marine mammal surveys!
11. Anything else you would like to add?
I would highly recommend this project – I had such a wonderful time and would like to thank everyone for their contribution to making the trip an amazing one!
Find out more about Tenerife Whale and Dolphin Conservation