Author Archive SeaEO

BySeaEO

Nascimento de Golfinho no Tejo

Foi esta quarta-feira, 27 de julho, pelas 10:37 a bordo do “Odisseia”, num dos barcos da SeaEO Tours que os 12 clientes assistiram a um dos fenómenos mais incríveis da natureza – o nascimento de um golfinho.

As condições do rio e mar estava mais difíceis do que o habitual por estar bastante vento. Contudo, navegamos pela margem Sul e deparamo-nos com um grupo de oito golfinhos-comuns (Delphinus delphis), que é a espécie mais avistada no rio Tejo desde 2020. O grupo era composto por várias fêmeas com crias recém-nascidas, com alguns dias ou semanas, até que nos apercebemos que uma delas estava a agir de forma diferente.

Golfinhos no Tejo – Nascimento de golfinho ao vivo em Lisboa

Estava muito mais tranquilo à superfície e a vir respirar com maior frequência e sem se movimentar muito. Uns segundos depois, vimos uma cria a sair debaixo da fêmea, mesmo muito pequenina com cerca de 50cm: tinha acabado de nascer. “Um dos comportamentos da progenitora é empurrar a cria para a superfície para que ela respire pela primeira vez e foi isso que me chamou a atenção na altura. Foi um momento muito especial” – como relata Bartolomeu Paes (tripulante e guia da SeaEO Tours).

Foi-nos possível confirmar porque, para nosso espanto viu-se uma bolsa cor de laranja agarrada à fêmea. Inicialmente pensamos que poderia estar ferida, mas rapidamente deduzimos que, por estar uma bolsa presa e com uma cria tão pequena evidenciada com as pregas fetais (marcas do nascimento) de cetáceos, só podia ser a placenta.

Sabendo que estes animais são muito sensíveis ao som causado pelos motores, desligamo-los imediatamente, tal como o outro barco ao nosso lado de outra empresa. Apesar de termos uma distância de segurança aos animais, esta fêmea curiosamente aproximou-se dos barcos calmamente, como se viesse mostrar a sua cria recém-nascida. Com um movimento menos habitual, as fêmea consegui livrar-se da placenta passados 10 minutos.

Com uma gestação que dura entre 11 a 12 meses, estes mamíferos que vivem no mar têm uma maior atividade sexual na altura do Verão, entre maio e setembro. Facto é que, desde que temos avistado golfinhos no Tejo em 2020, há normalmente a presença de crias ou fêmeas grávidas.

Desde a pandemia que se têm avistado golfinhos no Tejo, mas nunca o nascimento de crias, o que nos poderá colocar a hipótese: “poderá o Tejo ser uma zona interessante para ter as crias, uma zona de refúgio ou uma maternidade?”. Em parceria com o MARE-ISPA – Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada (Prof. Dra. Ana Rita Luís), a empresa está a estudar o motivo de se manterem por cá, mesmo depois de todas as atividades económicas terem retomado ao normal. Alguns dos golfinhos que vieram na altura da pandemia em 2020 e 2021, continuam aqui, por isso a razão pela qual se mantêm cá será mais forte, seja por disponibilidade de alimento seja por consideraram o Tejo uma zona de maternidade.

Como mencionado noutros meios de comunicação, “Antes de 2020, tínhamos cinco ou seis avistamentos por ano”. Este recente fenómeno terá várias razões, mas está certamente relacionado com a drástica redução de atividade humana durante o confinamento, seja por menos pressão da atividade de pesca, melhor qualidade da água do rio, menor poluição sonora e menor perturbação causada por navios ou barcos de recreio.

O Estuário do Tejo é das mais importantes zonas húmidas da Península Ibérica que alberga milhões de espécies em diversos habitats, funcionando com local de eleição para espécies marinhas e aquáticas que vêm nidificar, alimentar-se, procriar ou simplesmente de passagem. É por isso mais importante que nunca a promoção da conservação da biodiversidade marinha, seja por operadores marítimo-turísticos que desenvolvem atividades de sensibilização ambiental e turismo sustentável e responsável bem como de campanhas de educação ambiental com a sociedade civil.

https://youtu.be/JwhHuH95tBk
Nascimento de golfinho no Tejo
BySeaEO

News about Dolphins

Check out the latest articles of which SeaEO Tours and it’s Marine Biologist have been news in the portuguese media.

The recent visits of dolphins, both common-dolphins and bottlenose-dolphins in the Tagus river have kept the media’s attentions on these magnificent marine mammals, that historically have swam up river on the old days. Reason why the 25th of April pillars have paintings of several Cetacean species.

A Mensagem de Lisboa
Wilder Online magazine
NiT magazine
Duas Linhas
Observador
BySeaEO

Sharks in Portugal

Bellow, the scientific illustrator João Tiago Tavares, from Gobius created these biological illustrations for the initiative to promote the importance and beauty of Sharks in Portugal called #WeLikeSharks coordinated by APECE in 2013. Proof is that these amazing illustrations represent the biggest pelagic Sharks occuring in Portugal or spotted in portuguese waters including Madeira and Azores Arquipelagos. In total, there are more than 40 shark species swimming by, and none or very few dangerous shark-attacks. The objective was to dismistify the terror generated during decades of these lovely and pre-historical marine creatures.

Sharks-of-Portugal-SeaEO-Tours
Some of the Sharks in Portugal or species spotted in Atlantic Portugueses waters – @JTT

Sharks are apex predators and crucial to the functioning of marine ecosystem, yet a quarter of all shark and ray species are listed as threatened or endangered in the Red List of IUCN. They have an important roll in balancing the ecosystems by predating available prey. However, since 1970, the global abundance of Chondrichthys (sharks and rays) has declined by 71% (Pacoureau et al., 2021) urging the need to better protect them at an intenational level.

Recently, Anthias Diving Centre launched the Jornadas da Ecologia Marinha with online sessions in which expert divers or Marine Biologists shared their experiences to a broad public of up to 275 attendees per session. Both
underwater photographer Nuno Sá and the enthusiastic Dr. João Correia (FlyingSharks and APECE), shared their magnificent encounters with sharks in Portugal and elswhere.

By reading PONG-Pesca (Fisheires Enviromental NGOs), or Shark League news soon you understand the tremendus effort that APECE (Portuguese Association for the Study and Conservation of Elasmobranchs) together with the civil society and ICNF (Portuguese Environment Institute) made to convince the EU Comission for the protection of Mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) against overfishing. As Mako (light blue shark in the image above) and other endangered shark species were added to the Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2019, Portuguese and Spanish national fisheries regulations went further by completely banning landings of this species. This decision made in late December 2020, is a stepping stone for the North Atlantic fishieres to avoid the possible and irreversible collapse of Mako shark populations. Read more scientific publication regarding world sharks state of art conservation here.

The threats over shark populations worldwide as of marine wildlife in general have mainly to do with overfishing. This activity however has to do with other sources such as the demands for shark finning, in which their fins are cut and shipped away to wolrdwide markets for shark fin soup, or used for the idealogical anti-cancer pills from cartilaginous fishes, AKA, sharks and rays. In some cases, big game recreational fishing does not release the species caught, deserving a “shame on you” sign. Despite that, pollution, ghost nets and ultimately climate change have been affecting their populations by destrioing key-ecosystems and thus diversity. In addtion, killer-whales have a special appetite for shark liver!

Blue-shark trajectory off Lisbon Canyon using transmitors to track their route.
Sharks in Portugal | Blue-shark trajectory off Lisbon using geographic transmitors – @NunoQueiroz

Sharks in Portugal and elsewhere are facing enormous threats, mainly due to overfishing, as they are essential to balance the ecosystems (Queiroz et al., 2015 and Queiroz et al., 2019), with detailed explaintions on a extensive scientific research on “Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries”.

Furtunately, it is common on a Dolphin Watching odyssey to encounter Blue-sharks at the surface, specially when the wind is very smooth. In 2020, we spotted more than 5 blue-sharks swimming at the surface, while a colleague spotted a 3m hammer-head shark close to the Lisbon Canyon as shown above. In these boat tours, the chances are low, however with rising water temperatures during summer they occur more frequentely.

BySeaEO

Wildlife Outdoor Activities

As COVID19 restrictions keep tight (published here) due to the huge number of severe cases in Portugal, the summer season promises to have some tourism activity as last year 2020, due to the global vaccination process. As we keep indoors, plans for outdoor activities you are preparing for next summer vacations can pass through boat tours offers.

Great-flamingos-Birdwatching-Lisbon-Boat-Tour
Great Flamingo

SeaEO Tours knows you want to travel again soon, and the Portugal Tourism Bureau reenforced a travel campaign #CantSkipTomorrow in different languages. The commitment of Clean & Safe stamp will continue as high season starts, bringing trust and safeness to allow you to enjoy Portugal free of fear. As a leader in wildlife outdoor activities in Lisbon, SeaEO is also part of the Clean & Safe !
commitment.

Clean and safe boat tours

If you wonder what to do meanwhile, check out our new Virtual Dolphin Watching tour bellow and get submerged in our virtual experiences during a Dolphin Watching boat tour and a Seabird Watching. SOUND ON!

Meanwhile, we have created partnership with Blue Sky Wildlife supported by Birdlife International organization that promotes Bird conservation and protection on a global scale together with governments, NGOs and private sector.

Seabirds Watching, Dolphin Watching Lisbon or Tagus Estuary Birding Boat Trips are our wildlife outdoor activites published in Blue Sky Wildlife platform. With detailed information about each experience and diverse wildlife species helps us reaching a broader public. Nature lovers will get the best out of the programs we prepared on small-group experiences for you, your friends and family.

While exploring the seas on a daily basis, SeaEO is part of the Ocean’s voice, thus by contrubuing for the ocean literacy and scientific knowledge, we believe the Tourim industry can cope with a more protective and sustainble approach by planning long-term objectives as prompted by our sponsors.

BySeaEO

Travel & Hospitality Awards

SeaEO awarded Best Adventure Experience of the Year in Lisbon

As mentioned in the last year in this post, Travel & Hospitality Awards is a global recognition programme for the travel industry recognising the very best hotels, tour operators, experience providers, and innovation companies.

The awards are given based on customer satisfaction, good standing with known suppliers and customer feedback with strong focus on exceptional service. Nominees are then categorised and compared on a regional basis by a panel of judges.

The main goal is to celebrate success through the recognition of innovation, outstanding service, and excellence within the travel and hospitality industry.

SeaEO Tours as Best Travel & Hospitality Awards
Best Adventure Experience of the Year in Lisbon by Travel & Hospitality Awards

SeaEO-Tours was nominated and awarded winner of the Travel and Hospitality Awards in the category Adventure Experience in Lisbon, with the boat tours we kept developing throughout this tough year 2020.

Although several other Nature Boat Tours are developed, such as Birdwacthing in the Tagus Estuary, Pelagic Birdwatching, Dolphin Watching Tour keep thier best seller ranking.

SeaEO-Tours operates in Lisbon since February 2018. We have an average of 870 guests per year, 95 % Dolphin Watching sighting success, 5 frequent Cetacean species and more than 39 aquatic and seabird species spotted.

We want to keep working with our main mission of Connecting people with Nature!

https://youtu.be/JwhHuH95tBk
Nascimento de golfinho no Tejo
Clean and safe boat tours
BySeaEO

Whales off Lisbon

Increadible moments with wildlife must be shared. SeaEO customers have had the chance to presence exciting moments with marine species, such as Dolphins, Sharks, Seabirds and occasionally Whales off Lisbon.

Bottlenose dolphins jumping
Bottlenose Dolphin with calf Credits: @BernardoSBQueiroz

These last couple of days, a Humpback whale was also spotted nearby, swimming and jumping with all its glory. Being close enough to witness these incredible and majestic creatures makes us feel more alive. Check out our whale watching tour in september.

humpback-whale-lisbon
humpback-whale
humpback-whale-jumping-cascais
humpback-whale jumping so close to Lisbon

Harbor porpoises, not a real dolphin, have also been around although they are normally very shy when in presence of boats. As posted before, we have witnessed wildlife closer to our coastline.

dolphins-close-to-lisbon
Harbor porpoises

Check out all our Boat Tours in Lisbon with Nature Tourism concept. Embrace Ecotourism adventures with expert crew and benefit from 20% off for booking done until the end of 2020.

Christmas 2020 Voucher

https://youtu.be/JwhHuH95tBk
Nascimento de golfinho no Tejo
Clean and safe boat tours
BySeaEO

Pelagic Birdwatching

Seabirds season

The season for great bird migrations has started in September, when a variety of seabirds start flying down from the Northern hemisphere to lower latitudes, such as Lisbon. Other seabird species end their “summer” and start flying towards warmer destinations.

Portugal’s mainland is in the middle of two great migration routes for birds, waterbirds and seabirds. The North Atlantic Migration Route and the Mediterranean Migration Route. Some bird species simply pass by, while others stay for the winter. Pelagic birdwatching is one of the best ways of searching specific seabird species that pass near Lisbon coastline.

National Geographic Map of World Bird Migration Routes

Birdwatching by boat

Besides the regular Birdwatching along the Tagus Estuary Boat Tour, SeaEO also has established partnerships with bird specialist groups, such as EVOA and Clube XZEN. This coopertation allows us to develop and create special Pelagic Birdwatching events for Ornithologist and bird lovers to get closer and take the best photograph if these lovely wild creatures.

In the Ocean, Pelagic Birds or Seabirds can be found along with cetacean species, such as dolphins and whales. It is very likely that on a Dolphin Watching Boat Tour in Lisbon our crew finds specific seabird species, therefore we know Pelagic Birdwatching

seabird-corys-shearwater-lisbon
Cory’s Shearwater

The next Pelagic Birdwatching event is programmed for October 24th early in the morning. Chum will be included on this special and places are limited to 12 guests per boat.

Clean and safe boat tours

What to expect on a Seabird watching boat tour with SeaEO:

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