PROJECTS AND TRAINING
National Sea Lion Disentanglement Network
This project’s main objective is to create a network capable of attending entanglement cases along the Baja California Peninsula and other parts of the country where there are sea lion colonies.
In order to achieve this we offer training for the different local groups which are made up of the corresponding local authorities, CONAMP, PROFEPA and SEMAR, as well as civil associations, private enterprises and volunteers who can implement the sea lion rescue program in each zone. Until this date we have kicked off training programs in Baja California Sur: La paz, Cabo Pulmo, Cabo San Lucas, Isla Margarita and Vizcaíno; in Baja California: Bahía de Los Ángeles and Ensenada; in Sonora: Puerto Peñasco.
Our goal is to continue strengthening their abilities and make the tools and equipment available to them, as well as to provide guidance and technical support so that each group is able to come into its own and work independently.
Every month we go out to monitor and rescue sea lions in the Bay of La Paz. In November of 2015 the very first training workshop for the remote sedation technique for the capture and disentanglement of sea lions was held in La Paz. Since then we have held 12 campaigns in La Paz and one at Isla Margarita, and collaborated with campaigns in Los Cabos and Puerto Peñasco, with a total of 25 sea lions rescued fro fishing lines, nets and floating refuse.
Monitoring and community vigilance
We continuously monitor the main sea lion colonies and concentration points in the Bay of La Paz, in order to assess the general state these colonies are in, as well as the entanglement rate
and to perform a census with each outing. This yields valuable information about the condition and behavior of entangled individuals, which allows us to plan better strategies for each individuals capture and rescue.
At the same time, as a Community Vigilance Committee ascribed to PROFEPA, we patrol the area to ensure that no illegal activity is being conducted within the protected nature reserves. We inform the authorities and provide evidence if we happen upon any irregularities, such as illegal fishing, and bad practices by tourist outfitters.
Sea lions are excellent bio-indicators for the health of the ecosystem they are part of. Thus any information on their health yields information on their environment.
By conducting a census of their population, observing their behavior, and collecting samples during our rescue efforts, we obtain valuable information which advances our knowledge and provides education.
Studies are underway which will allow us to further understand the physiological processes these animals undergo as a direct result of being entangled.