- Research & Education
- Cape Cod
The Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown launched their 31st whale watch season on April 15, 2006, continuing a legacy of high marine education, research and ship board standards. With the most experienced whale watch captains and naturalists in the region, we invite you to join us as we initiate our new and expanded interactive programs AND celebrate 30 years of ‘Salt’ and her family. Salt is one of the most recognizable humpback whales and was named in 1976 by Dolphin Fleet’s captain Aaron Avellar. Since then, ‘Salt’ has returned to our waters with ten calves (a new calf this year!!) and is the grandmother of five. Each of her calves was named by Aaron and his son Chad, a third generation Dolphin Fleet captain.
One of the unique and exclusive advantages of whale watching with the Dolphin Fleet is our most experienced naturalists, with a total of over 90 years of experience. For 30 years, researchers and naturalists have been educating adults and children aboard Dolphin Fleet vessels while collecting important scientific information on whales. Dr. Carole Carlson, a naturalist on the Dolphin Fleet since 1979, and a world-authority on humpback whales and whale watching will direct the expanded research and education program offering total immersion into the marine ecosystem of Cape Cod and Massachusetts Bays and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Whales, dolphins, birds, fish, and plankton all make up the intricate web of life we know as the Open Ocean. Using a myriad of books, posters, charts and interactive learning materials, developed by Dr. Carlson, our naturalists will help all passengers better understand difficult concepts or answers to basic questions. Passengers will experience the diversity of microscopic organisms in a seemingly clear, green sea during plankton tows or listen to the sounds of the whales and their ocean as a hydrophone (underwater microphone) is deployed. Naturalists will offer technical information about data forms being used or the research catalog that contains over 1600 photographs of individual humpback whales dating back to 1980. A major component of our program will be marine conservation, a look at how our actions affect whales and the oceans we share.
In addition, our naturalists can provide pre-trip slide presentations to groups at a minimal fee.
The Dolphin Fleet will collaborate with several research, non-governmental groups and government agencies including the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Mass Audubon Society, Cetacean Society International, Allied Whale and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, naturalist groups in Plymouth and Gloucester and internships have been established with the Roots and Shoots Program at local schools.