Marine Mammals Monitoring
Every spring the St. Maarten Nature Foundation conducts its Marine Mammal Monitoring project which lasts from January until May. The Nature Foundation, in cooperation with Dolphin Defenders St. Maarten; the Reserve Naturelle of St. Martin and St. Barths; the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and various other partners, conduct a wide scale census of all Marine Mammals found in St. Maarten/ St. Martin territorial waters, including within the Man of War Shoal Marine Park.
Many on St. Maarten might not be aware that there is a relatively significant Marine Mammal population in the waters surrounding St. Maarten, including numerous species of whales and dolphins. St. Maarten lies within the area of the Western Atlantic where various whale species come to give birth to their young. From February to May several hundreds of Humpback Whales migrate from the northern Atlantic to areas within the Caribbean to give birth and nurse their young before heading back up north”, read a statement from the Nature Foundation.
Numerous other species of whale and dolphin, including sperm whales and several types of dolphins, make their home in local waters. Several questions are hoped to be answered as a result of the study, including most numerous species, migration routes and dates, and the feasibility of regulated wild whale and dolphin watching trips.