Boat-based Cetacean Surveys around Saut d'Eau Island and Soldado Rock

Project Name: Boat-based Cetacean Surveys around Saut d'Eau Island and Soldado Rock.

Project Number: 3

Related Programme: Improving Scientific Knowledge

Project Description: This project aims to collect information about whale and dolphin species and their presence/ absence in two areas off the coast of Trinidad - Soldado Rock on the south coast and Saut d'Eaut Island on the north coast. A CCARO researcher will be accompanying CFCA's sea-bird survey researchers to each area to do our surveys once a month from January to July 2010.

Views of Saut d'Eau Isand (left) and Soldado Rock (right)

Project Objectives:

  1. To determine cetacean presence or absence within the 2 study areas
  2. To determine the species of any cetaceans seen within the two survey areas
  3. To obtain photographs of  cetaceans for photo id where possible (lower priority)
  4. To obtain behavioural data (lower priority)

Measure of Success:

  1. Surveys conducted in each area at least once a month from February to July 2010.
  2. Completed data sheets for all survey trips
  3. A written report on the finding of these surveys


  • Boat-based Surveys will be done once a month at both the Saut d'Eau Island and Soldado Rock sites. These surveys will be done from the Coast Guard vessel appointed for the CFCA offshore island sea-bird survey or from either Saut d'Eau Island or Soldado Rock.
  • For each survey the following will be done:
  1. The observer will continually scan the water with the naked eye or using binoculard for any sign of cetaceans.
  2. An Event Sheet will be filled out noting the start, end and any notable events on the trip (including cetacean sightings).
  3. A GPS track of the boats course will be made and any cetacean sightings marked on the course.
  4. An Environment Data Sheet will be filled out recording the environmental conditions in which the survey was conducted.
  5. A Cetacean Sighting Form will be filled out in the event that a whale or dolphin is sighted.
  6. Where possible the observer will take photographs of any cetacean encountered.


As there is limited space on the research vessel it is not possible for us to include any volunteers in the boat-based aspect of this project but we will need help databasing the information gathered. If you are interested in volunteering please click here and remember to fill out our volunteer application form if you are not yet a registered CCARO volunteer (if you are on the mailing list then you are).

Check out our other Projects

Project Status: In Progress

Start Date: 24 Jan 2010

End Date: 31 July 2010

January trial survey completed
February Saut d'Eau survey completed

See our
Project Journal for details

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Help needed to database the information gathered on cetacean surveys. Read the project page (left) for more details.


Thanks to CFCA

for allowing us to share their bird-survey research vessel.


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