Berlin/Liège, Juni 2014.
Successful MEER workshop at the ECS Conference!
M.E.E.R. e.V. organized and conducted a one day workshop during this year’s ECS (European Cetacean Society) conference: “Communicating marine mammal science to the general public”, and it was a great success. Twenty participants from 9 different countries, interested in education, enthusiastically took the opportunity to interact intensely.
Initially, there were several lectures on various projects that link whale and dolphin research with education in a meaningful way. The onset was made by our 2nd chairman, Volker Smit, who introduced the project M.E.E.R. La Gomera and its increasing educational work on the island of La Gomera. A Turkish group displayed how they successfully inform the people of Turkey about the problems of the local bottlenose dolphins as well as dolphins in captivity by means of a “road show”. Angela Ziltener, co-organizer of the workshop, presented a project from Hurghada (Egypt): at the moment it focusses above all on the protection of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from the increasing pressure of the drastically fast developing tourism at this spot. Another talk presented different possibilities on how social media could be used for whale and dolphin protection in the future.
In the following brainstorming session these topics were selected and thereafter extensively discussed in plenum: whale-watching, social media, new tools and schools. Subsequently, Volker Smit presented the results of the workshop to the gathered researchers at the conference in a short talk.
During the conference, it was pointed out many times that it is strongly recommended that the main research results need to be presented to the public more promptly and intensely. With the organization of this workshop, M.E.E.R e.V. wants to set a sign and to accelerate this transfer of knowledge.