Volunteers carry out a mass cetacean stranding drill and use a rescue pontoon

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About 40 people participate in Fuerteventura in the workshop organized by the AVANFUER association and with the collaboration of the Loro Parque Fundación, the Cabildo de Fuerteventura and the IUSA, within the framework of the CanBIO and Marcet II projects

Playa Blanca, in Fuerteventura, was the setting chosen by the Avanfuer association to carry out an awareness workshop on the stranding of cetaceans off the Canary Islands, attended by some 40 people, with the aim of training 25 volunteers from various non-profit organizations. profit and general citizenship in the use of the rescue pontoon and how to provide first aid to try to save the lives of these marine mammals. Loro Parque Fundación, the University Institute of Animal Health (IUSA) of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Cabildo de Fuerteventura collaborated in the activity, within the framework of the CanBIO and Marcet II projects.

The Canary Islands are a biodiversity hotspot for cetaceans in the Atlantic Ocean and therefore it is common for specimens to appear stranded on its coasts. For this reason, various environmental and academic organizations come together to establish a response network to this situation, which is aggravated by the increase in human activity and climate change.

This workshop consisted of the simulation of a massive stranding of cetaceans in which technicians from the University Institute of Animal Health explained to the attendees how the health status of a stranded cetacean and the chances of survival are evaluated. For this, the veterinarians used two rescue pontoons, made by the Loro Parque Fundación, essential to refloat the animals and return them to the sea. These pontoons are prototypes specifically designed for this activity and, thanks to these drills, their functionalities are being improved and adapted to the characteristics of the strandings in the Canary Islands.

The use of this type of pontoon and a correct handling of the animals that implies calling 112 and not trying to return them to the sea without the prior evaluation of the specialists, will help prevent the death of the stranded cetaceans. These and many other issues were extensively developed in the workshop held this weekend and it is expected to be repeated in all the islands of the Archipelago.

About CanBIO
CanBIO is an environmental research program funded in equal parts by the Government of the Canary Islands and Loro Parque with two million euros, which will be invested to study over the next 4 years, climate change in the sea and ocean acidification and its effects on the marine biodiversity of the Canary Islands and Macaronesia. Likewise, different research groups from the University of La Laguna and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria participate in the project, as well as other environmental volunteer groups.

MARCET II
It is an INTERREG project that seeks to transfer technology, in terms of conservation of marine living resources in Macaronesia, to the productive sectors of the 4 archipelagos that make up the region. It is led by the IUSA and the Loro Parque Fundación, the University of La Laguna, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canarias, as well as other academic, scientific and non-profit institutions from the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde participate in it.

Source: Press releases / CanBIO Communication

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