GEMM IN A NUTSHELL
The Marine Mammal Study Group is an association dedicated to monitoring the state of
populations and habitat of marine mammals in the South Pacific.
Born in 2009 in French Polynesia, it is made up of scientists, naturalists, journalists, writers and sailors who generally work and live on water, like marine mammals: families, pods, free associations and networks autonomous individuals federated virtually by the GEMM and physically by each other's affinities and projects.
Non-territoriality, freedom, as well as equality and solidarity are the rule between mammals
bipedal sailors of the GEMM. Team members from all walks of life join us every year in the field to train and help us to perpetuate our presence in the field
Our action revolves around three principles:
Observe, Understand, Share.
The GEMM therefore functions as an observatory in itself, making it possible to understand and assess the way of life and behavior of marine mammals in their natural habitat and as a medium for exchanging , possibly comparing (biomimicry) and making the voice heard. voiceless.
In Polynesia, the GEMM was the first to draw up an inventory of the problems encountered by marine mammals in their sanctuary.
Different biases can be used to bring these principles to life. Science, but also art, philosophy, culture, information and ethics can be, separately or together, the object of our efforts.
GEMM is a member of the Protection Federation of Associations of Environmental Polynesian, works to the National Union and the National Sea Vigie Stranding Network French
INVASIVE ANIMAL TOURISM
In Polynesia as elsewhere in the world, we see a strong development of activities
whale and dolphin watching and approach in the wild. These activities most often surf on myths and legends involving these emblematic animals to promote non-reasoned and poorly framed approaches that disturb and tend to weaken populations of marine mammals - mainly the humpback whale, the bottlenose dolphin and the bottlenose dolphin. long bill - in Polynesia, disrupting their behavior , their way of life and their environment .
Since 2009, the GEMM has been carrying out voluntary monitoring of dolphins and whales affected by tourism in the Tuamotu and Society archipelagos. Detailed scientific monitoring was carried out in particular from 2009 to 2019 on the effects of diving tourism on the behavior of bottlenose dolphins in Rangiroa atoll.
CONFLICTS BETWEEN MARINE MAMMALS AND THE INDUSTRY
The scarcity of marine fauna in Polynesia generates increasingly acute problems between fishermen and marine mammals, including depredation behaviors in which animals remove, partially or totally, bait or catch from fishing gear. Cetaceans can then be victims of accidental catches or reprisals from exasperated fishermen. Globally, the false killer whale represents two thirds of the species identified, killed or seriously injured in fisheries, exceeding in certain places
people's resilience. Pilot whales are not left out, since a decline in their populations has also been observed in Hawaiian waters. This
The problem is all the more important since mortality rates are often underestimated. The populations of small cetaceans are also very threatened according to the fishing techniques used (Bay of Biscay). Since 2012, the GEMM has been working on a better understanding of the problems of coastal and deep-sea depredations in the Society, Tuamotu and Marquesas archipelagos in partnership with CRIOBE, DRMM and certain captains of Polynesian fishing vessels.
Less well-known problems, such as famine , diseases and poisonings linked to pollution and global warming, would also deserve more efforts but especially resources that we do not have.