What is "Serene Sea"?
What is the"Sea Of Voices" project?
Serene Sea is an environmental scientific movement based in Russia, uniting biologists, ecologists, marine mammal enthusiasts and freedivers, and aimed to minimize or eliminate the damage caused by humans to the marine environment of the Black sea. The main direction of our activity is the research on local populations of dolphins, specializing in their acoustic repertoire and character of migration.
Our team: Aleksandr Vladislavovich Agafonov - researcher in the marine mammal laboratory of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, member of the Russian Geographical Society, member of the Marine mammal council (MMC), expert in psycholinguistics and animal psychology; professional photographer, member of the Russian Union of Art Photographers. Irina Logominova - biologist, member of the Marine mammal council, expert in acoustics and behavior of the Black Sea bottlenose dolphins; took part in works for the integrated study for White sea belugas at the marine mammal laboratory in the Institute of Oceanology. Anastasiia Postnikova, Anastasiia Korosteleva, Rustam Aliev - biologists, photographers, artists, designers, freedivers.
All the three species of the Black Sea dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus Ponticus, Delphinus Delphis Ponticus, Phocoena Phocoena Relica) are unique endemic species included into the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, two of them are considered to be endangered. Just a few dozen years ago these animals have been massively killed: according to rough estimates, more than 6,5 million dolphins were killed by the Black sea countries. Nowadays they are protected by international conventions, but, unfortunately, these animals appear to be in danger.
Again and again, we find sick and dying dolphins, we come across dolphins caught in nets, perished in seiner trawls. It is no secret they are still being captured illegally for dolphinariums; poaching is rather widespread in the Black Sea. There are also a lot of dolphins killed by fishermen who try to avoid their nets broken. There's no established medical help for stranded animals, and many horrific situations take place regularly: for example, in 2014 a sick common dolphin beached itself onto shore of Veseloe village, and the owners of the area brought the dolphin to the dump although it was alive. There are more examples, and the situation seems to be really sad, if not catastrophic.
In view of that, we took a great step – we launched a crowdfunding project called "Sea Of Voices" and intended to raise funds for a wide-scale expedition along Crimean region moving further along the Krasnodar Region shore. We needed to obtain our own floating craft and advanced photographic equipment - up until that time, we carried out research from the shore and collected a catalogue of fins (117 identified animals) in occasional trips on leased boats. In addition to it, we have a collection of "signature whistles" of bottlenose dolphins accounting for more than three hundred identified animals; but it needs to be expanded too.
No wide-scale animal counting was ever held in the region. About 20 years ago, a brief and selective counting took place only. All of the countings carried out by the USSR and Turkey were recognized as untenable because of methodological errors.
Our goal is to count all dolphin population, to perform photoidentification, audio registration as well as to clean the shore from the trash and to obtain specimens for biopsy from animals found on the shore. All the collected data will be used to support the initiative of strengthening the protection of the Black Sea dolphins and brought for discussion on international conferences.
To achieve this goal, we needed to raise minimum 520 thousand rubles (about 9183 dollars). Our project was launched on a Russian crowdfunding platform, Boomstarter.ru, and within the 45 days of our campaign we managed to raise 106% of the necessary initial sum.
This result allows us to purchase basic necessary equipment, but we still need and search funding for our research. A huge amount of work is needed to do (not only scientific or ecological, but also social). Society needs to be informed and changed, and this, in turn, is also one of our priorities.
Everyone can make his personal contribution to the preservation of the Black Sea and its marine mammals. You can contribute any sum to our project and get exclusive materials from our field-working team as a reward for your help. Soon we're going to offer material compensation for your contribution, too (such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.)
Let us remind you that the Black Sea dolphins are unique endemic species confined to one location only! They have a number of differences from other dolphin species and subspecies, so the materials we receive from them are also unique.
Here's the list of electronic bonuses for our sponsors:
• Bonuses for $4-6: you will get 5 full-sized photos for desktop and 3 whistle ringtones from bottlenose dolphins.
• Bonuses for $7-9: you will get a gallery of 10 full-sized photos for desktop, 4 whistle ringtones (3 from bottlenose dolphins, 1 from White sea belugas) and an electronic certificate with your name for the contribution into studies and protection of marine mammals of the Black Sea.
• Bonuses for $10-18: you will get a gallery of 15 best photos for desktop, 6 whistle ringtones (3 from bottlenose dolphins, 1 from common dolphins and 2 from White sea belugas), an electronic certificate with your name and 3 videos from our archive. By the way, there are not many underwater videos with the Black Sea dolphins because most of them treat humans with caution.
• Bonuses for the $19-27: you will get the access to the full archive of our best photos of the Black Sea dolphins made in 2014-2017, as well as 6 whistle ringtones (bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and belugas), an electronic certificate with your name and 4 videos.
• Bonuses for $28-36: we will send you a unique recording made in the Black sea at night; you will hear the night conversations between bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and even fish and see these signals in the spectrum analysis. Moreover, you will get a large archive of our best photos made in 2014-2017 and an electronic certificate with your name. Yout name will also appear on our website as a full-fledged sponsor.
• Anyone who donates more than $90 will be able to adopt a wild dolphin identified in our base and monitor its life. As we meet your dolphin in the sea, we will contact you informing about its life, send you photos and videos with it. All of the above awards are also included.
All of the awards are sent to sponsors via email.