|Town/Region||Golfo San Jorge, Patagonia|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Categories||Cetaceans, Communities, Education, Mammals, Marine|
|Date||19 Jan 2002|
The Golfo San Jorge is a major centre of Patagonian biodiversity, home to several cetacean species such as dolphins, sea lions and killer whales. Human activity is the main threat. Since the 1970s, overfishing has been caused significant incidental mortality of marine mammals. In addition, there are two important petroleum harbours at Caleta Olivia and Comodoro Rivadavia, coastal Patagonia's biggest city. Minimal research has been conducted on cetaceans in the area - there is not even a basic species checklist. Even though there is a local University, there are no groups working on marine mammals. Public knowledge on cetaceans is also poor, leading to a lack of participation in their conservation.
The aim of this project is to initiate a community-based education and conservation program for Patagonian cetaceans, setting the scene for long-term studies. We will conduct training programmes to increase capacity of local students to undertake marine mammal research, and we will organise a regional stranding and sighting network to cover the area.
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