Hi, it’s Mavis again! I have learnt a lot during vessel surveys mentioned in the last blog. Besides doing regular surveys, public education is also important for dolphin conservation. The outbreak of coronavirus forced all face-to-face activities to online activities and I participated in two of them. It was a challenge for everyone but we all did a great job.
First was online screening of the documentary “Souls of the Vermilion Sea” which tells the story of the endangered vaquita in the northern gulf of California region. With the help of Viena, I translated the subtitles from English to Chinese for easy understanding of local audiences. Although translation is a time-consuming and unfamiliar work for me, I actually enjoyed the process. It deepened my understanding of the relation between fish bladder and vaquita. There are many educational and informative documentaries out there which are not in Chinese, so it will be a tough but meaningful job to translate and spread important messages to local communities.
Second was dolphin e-classroom which included paper folding and storytelling workshops. I was asked to prepare a paper folding guide for the workshop. It was an unexpected but rewarding task. I got much more familiar with Adobe Illustrator after the preparation. To ensure a smooth rundown, we rehearsed for a few times. Storytelling was the hardest for me because I was not used to leading this kind of workshop. June and Viena helped and supported me during the actual online class. Thanks to everyone’s effort, the workshops ran smoothly and the participants were satisfied.
I was lucky enough to be an intern when it was time to deal with the C-Pods. Passive acoustic monitoring is a popular monitoring method for cetaceans. Two experienced divers were there to take the pods out. We then cleaned the surface of the pods, changed batteries and returned them with the help of the divers. It was interesting to follow them the whole day.
Land-based survey was definitely another unforgettable moment of the internship. Unlike the usual vessel survey, land-based survey was done on land. We had to climb up a bit to the middle of the mountain and stayed on a flat big rock. The view was wider and clearer when we were up on the mountain.
This two-month internship was a rewarding and meaningful journey that I would never forget. Kudos to all HKDCS staff that work hard to conserve cetaceans in Hong Kong. I hope that one day all cetaceans can be free from anthropogenic threat, just like this photo.