The Elder Museum of Science and Technology of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria organised a scientific stay-over camp “A night in the museum” about cetaceans in the Canary Islands with the participation of 180 people and a presentation by PLOCAN entitled “how technology can monitor the activity of cetaceans in Canary Island waters”.
The activity was aimed at audiences of all kinds, from ten years old, and as attendees discovered, cetaceans are an order of mammals comprised of over eighty large marine species, from the small porpoise, measuring up to a maximum of a metre and a half long, to the enormous blue whale, which exceeds thirty metres in length. It is also surprising to know that there is still a lot remaining for us to learn about these mammals, as many species have only ever been found stranded on beaches, but not in their natural habitat. The way they communicate is also striking; for instance, it has recently been discovered that dolphins call each other by their names (their whistle), which could be due to the fact that they live in an environment that requires a highly efficient system to stay in contact.
These and other curiosities were presented by speakers in the educational lectures that kicked off the “A night in the museum” programme. PLOCAN participated with a lecture entitled “How technology can monitor the activity of cetaceans in Canary Island waters”, given by Silvana Neves, a researcher from the MARCET project. Other speakers included Manuel Arbelo from the University School of Animal Health (IUSA) from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) and Cristina Fernández from the Oceanography Department, with a lecture on “Which are the Cetaceans of the Canary Islands and what do we know about them” and Javier Zaera, pioneer in whale-watching tours for tourists, based in Puerto Rico, with a talk on how to identify the cetaceans seen in Canary Island waters.
The programme was rounded off with a series of workshops and guided tours, with a variety of actions such as an explanation of cetaceans using the modules available in the museum, a practical display of the units of measurements, a visit to the museum planetarium and a workshop on marine robotics organised by PLOCAN’s EDUROVs Marine Robotics Initiative.
The main objective of the MARCET Project is to transfer and disseminate cutting-edge science and technology to foster the growth and sustainable development of tourist activities directly and indirectly associated with whale-watching by generating new eco-innovative products and services. The MARCET Project is co-funded by the INTERREG V A Spain-Portugal Territorial Co-operation Programme (MAC 2014-2020) / Cross-border co-operation through the priority strand “Reinforcing research, technological development and innovation”.
Furthermore, this activity is part of another project; CODIMAR - Communication and Dissemination of Activities in the Marine-Maritime Sector pin its action to support the dissemination of events and projects. Moreover, the EDUROVs Educational Marine Robotics initiative is organised around the ROVSTEAM - STEAM competences development through Low Cost Educational Marine Robotics project this year. Both these projects are being implemented in collaboration with the Spanish Science and Technology Foundation (FECyT) – the Ministry of Economics, Industry and Competitiveness, La Caixa Social Charity and the Cabildo (Government) of Gran Canaria.
CODIMAR Project, in collaboration with:
ROVSTEAM Project, in collaboration with: