10,000 Island Dolphin Study
Despite extra effort to discover his location we had not sighted Seymour in over a month and we were beginning to despair of finding him again, an obvious prerequisite to scheduling the rescue that had been authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Then, on the morning of December 12, no sooner had we left the marina when we spotted five dolphins socializing in Factory Bay. Seymour was among this group of sub-adults that also included Mamawane, Ellie May, Orange and Ripple.
We immediately contacted Blair Mase, a scientist at NOAA and Coordinator of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Later we passed on new photos of the injury. Blair is scheduling a rescue that, depending on weather and availability of team members will most likely take place before the end of January. Toward that end we are going to put extra boats and time on the water in the days to come in hopes of discovering where Seymour tends to go when outside the narrow confines of our normal survey route. This will involve a focal follow which differs from our usual approach in that an attempt will be made to keep Seymour in sight and track his movement over as long a period of time as possible.
The point of this effort is to give the rescue team as much insight as possible as to the likely whereabouts of Seymour and increase the chances of finding him once all the resources have been assembled and put into motion. As I mentioned in a previous blog, these rescues are complicated logistically (and in so many other ways) and in the past have involved as many as 25 individuals and six vessels. It would be a shame - to say the least - if an effort of this scope and importance foundered for want of finding the injured animal.