More than 300 scientists attended the European Cetacean Society webinar
The annual conference of the European Cetacean Society (ECS), which was held this year in Israel, has been postponed until the spring of 2022. The current pandemic scenario opened up too many questions to organize an ECS Conference in 2021 with enough guarantees.
However, the society organized a webinar, which took place between March 15 and 19, and invited experts to share their knowledge and experiences with the general community on different topics traditionally addressed at the conferences of the ECS. Most of the presentations were recorded and can be viewed here.
The presentations have covered a wide range in the field of marine mammal research with the intervention of both great scientists with long recognized careers and students and other researchers.
Joan Gonzalvo, President of the ECS, has valued this initiative very positively:
“This has been the first webinar of the ECS and was an experiment that has been a success and that opens a door to future initiatives. We are exploring incorporating the virtual component into the 2022 Conference. One thing is certain, as a result of the current pandemic, we have realized that scientific meetings and conferences will not be what they used to be. However, we do not see it as a bad thing, but as an opportunity, in which using technologies we can reach more people and a wider range. I received very good opinions, but we would like to know more”.
According to this, the ECS has created a survey that can be filled out quickly and easily.
The presentations have covered a wide range in the field of marine mammal research
The interventions were about many different topics, from presenting the research that has been carried out in a population of bottlenose dolphins for 50 years, done by Dr. Randy Wells, through issues of respectful tourism or a more holistic view in the process of establishing mitigation measures, which was done by researcher Greg Donovan. Some newer aspects were also presented in the impact of offshore wind energy on porpoise populations and the importance of taking into account the energy needs of animals when establishing impacts or one of the most mediated issues of the year, the aggressive behavior of a group of killer whales in the Straits of Gibraltar, made by Dr. Ruth Esteban.
Other very interesting presentations tell us how the Blainville’s and Cuvier’s beaked whales coordinate their dives within groups, diving and ascending to the surface together, but feeding individually at depth. Or how fishing practices affect the bottlenose dolphin populations of Montenegro on the southern Adriatic.