Here you will find the most important news about our association as well as our projects and actions. In addition, we report about the events around the whale and dolphin protection off La Gomera (Canary Islands) and worldwide.

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22 Nov

We mourn the loss of Bernd Brederlau, founding member of M.E.E.R.

An obituary from Fabian Ritter In October 2023, Bernd Brederlau passed away – very surprisingly and much too early. Bernd was one of three in the “core team” M.E.E.R. e.V.´s early days and played a key role in the founding of the association. It is no exaggeration to state that M.E.E.R. would not have existed without Bernd. Bernd dedicated his life to dolphins like few other people. Having always been enthusiastic about these beings and having experienced a groundbreaking encounter with the solitary dolphin “Jean-Louis” in Brittany, he seized the opportunity in the early 1990s to take over one of...
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17 Nov


At this year’s international marine conservation conference “Progress in Marine Conservation” (PMC) – held by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the Marine Museum in Stralsund – M.E.E.R. was able to provide progressive impulses on two occasions. On the first evening, our chairman Fabian Ritter took part in a public panel discussion, where he was joined by Ann-Katrin Schröder (moderator), Gesine Meißner (Mission Healthy Oceans; UN Ocean Decade), Sebastian Unger (Marine Protection Commissioner of the Federal Government) and Karen Wiltsher (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, AWI). The participants had an intensive discussion regarding...
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8 Oct

Master’s thesis on bottlenose dolphins

Viviane Yuri Oide Komati recently completed her master’s thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dominik Martin-Creuzburg at the Institute for Freshwater Ecology at the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg. Graduate biologist Christina Sommer from M.E.E.R. e.V. acted as an external supervisor and second reviewer. Under the title “Factors influencing the group size and composition of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the waters off La Gomera,” Viviane analysed part of M.E.E.R. ev’s sighting database, which covers 26 years worth of data. She discovered interesting connections between the group size and group composition of bottlenose dolphins and environmental factors such as the...
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8 Oct

The battle over Icelandic whaling

After the Icelandic government had suspended fin whaling until August 31, 2023 on the basis of a report by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) (see, it decided at the end of last month to not extend this band until the end of the season. Therefore, Hvalur hf., the only company still whaling in Iceland took up hunting whales again from September 1st. Since then, eleven fin whales have been killed. Nevertheless, MAST recently temporarily suspended the operation of one of the two whaling vessels (Hvalur 8). This is because monitoring of the catches demonstrated that the hunt...
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15 Sep

Icelandic Whaling Stopped – Forever?

The Icelandic government has suspended whaling until at least August 31, 2023, based on a recently published report by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), which determined Fin whaling to be illegal and not in compliance with the Icelandic Animal Welfare Act. In the coming months, the Department of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries will evaluate possible changes in hunting techniques and other restrictions to decide whether whaling can resumed in the future. It is no secret that hunting whales is an extremely cruel undertaking, because the animals often only die many minutes or sometimes even hours after being harpooned...
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5 May

November 2023: the behavioural biology internship is now bookable!

The new course dates have been set: 11. – 25. November 2023 !!! Course content: We are now including a new focus area: in addition to general information about the whale and dolphin species encountered, behavioural biology methods for data collection, various aspects on the threats and conservation efforts for the animals and their habitat, we will also be dealing with bioacoustics: how do whales and dolphins communicate with each other, what does it sound like and how does ambient noise affect it? This year’s team includes the biologist Elke Burkhardt, who also has a lot of expedition experience from...
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13 Apr

Milestone for MEER’s work in the Canaries

We can be really proud of ourselves, because to coincide with our 25th anniversary, MEER was invited to participate in an expert workshop on marine mammal conservation throughout Spain. Things moved very quickly. There was just over a week between the invitation and arrival, so a lot of flexibility was required. Our 2nd chairman Volker Smit accepted the invitation without further ado. Our research department (Christina Sommer) made sure to compile the correct sighting data in up-to-date maps for this workshop at very short notice and as a result we were able to provide clear information on the various cetacean...
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12 Apr

Save the date – ECS 2023

The next ECS workshop will once again be held in Spain on the 17th April. We are thrilled to be conducting one of our successful workshops in the run-up to the “European Cetacean Society Conference“(ESC). The workshops will be taking place on the 16th and 17th April in the coastal town of O’Grove in Galicia. The all-day workshop “Communicating Marine Mammal Science to the General Public” is co-organised by M.E.E.R. e.V. and will be held on the 17th April. The content of this year’s workshop will be dedicated to this year’s conference overarching theme “Our Oceans our Future”.  >> ECS...
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