KRALENDIJK – On Thursday, January 11, the first three-day expedition of the local non-profit organization Blue Defenders began in the Yarari Sanctuary around Bonaire. This expedition focuses on gathering new data about marine megafauna, including whales, sharks, and rays. The goal is to obtain a current understanding of the species and their movements in the area using simple techniques such as hydrophones, spotters, and photography.
The Yarari Sanctuary, a nature park since 2015, encompasses the waters around Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius. The current information about the presence of marine megafauna is outdated, and Blue Defenders aim to change this by organizing multiple field studies. The collected data will be shared with key stakeholders to implement effective conservation measures.
Casper Douma, photographer and co-founder of Blue Defenders, emphasizes the need for research based on a personal experience two years ago when he observed whale and shark activity close to the coast. This was a significant motivation for establishing the NGO.
The organization recognizes the importance of protecting marine megafauna, which is under pressure from various threats. Collaboration and the collection of new data are crucial for effective protection within the Yarari Sanctuary.
The expedition is made possible by sponsors such as Bonaire Yacht Charters, DCNA, Van den Tweel Supermarket, and many smaller sponsors, as well as the support of Stinapa. The outcomes of this first expedition will be decisive for planning future research.