The Caribbean Cetacean Society (CCS) is an NGO created by two Marine Biologist from Guadeloupe and Martinique island in 2020.
This NGO is a french association loi 1901, based in Martinique that aims to work at the Caribbean scale.
Our goal is to improve cetaceans conservation trough international cooperation.
We are powered by a community that include local and international directors of NGO, researchers, lawyers, government representatives and passionate people all sharing the same objectives.
Various planned actions are just waiting for funds to be carried out. Much information is still lacking for good management decisions at the scale of these species home ranges.
How many whales are there? Which species live where?
How do they use their habitats? Where are they going outside the Caribbean? etc...
To answer these essential questions, we hope:
- To organize international meetings bringing together all expert members of the network in order to share knowledge, local initiatives, offer training and stimulate collaborative work;
- To set up harmonized scientific monitoring at inter-regional scale using non-invasive methods (passive acoustics, photo identification, etc.);
- To set up a platform (website) for the promotion of knowledge, results and members;
- To support the common approach of sustainable transition of the commercial cetacean observation activity;
- Communicate and educate local populations about the presence of marine mammals in our waters and the challenges of their conservation.
« We protect what we love and we love what we know” stated Commandant Cousteau.
Our objective is thus to get to know better, scatter and share the knowledge on cetaceans. By piloting cooperation between the islands to fill the gap of data and thus put in place appropriate and effective conservation measures with each territory. But also by disseminating the information already available concerning threats, for example to help actors and governments to solve them.
✔ Gather stakeholders and decision makers from each island
✔ Share and homogenize local initiatives
✔ Promote exchanges and pooling of efforts
✔ Valorize knowledge and actions of the network
✔ Lead awareness campaigns
✔ Gather and popularize scientific information to make them easily accessible to everyone
✔ Train stakeholders on each island
✔ Coordinate scientific campaigns at large scale
✔ Gather, analyze and scatter datas
✔ Offer expertise in the writing of strategic documents
✔ Support the establishment and management of marine protected areas
✔ Participate in achieving the objectives of already existing marine protected areas
The Founders of CCS are two Antilleans from Guadeloupe and Martinique, passionate about marine biodiversity and committed to environmental conservation for several years. Scientists specialized in marine ecology, Jeffrey Bernus and Laura Pittino studied in the Caribbean, then in France, Belgium, Canada and Australia. They came back to their home territory in order to get involved in particular by working for institutional natural protected areas managers such as the Guadeloupe National Park and the Agoa Sanctuary (French Biodiversity Office). Recruited to build a network of stakeholders involved in the conservation of marine mammals throughout the Caribbean region, they fell in love with this community and objectives. Thus, with the support of the network members, they decided to found the CCS in order to perpetuate the actions initiated and sustainably strengthen the conservation of marine mammals at home.
Co-fondateur - Président
Jeffrey grew up in the Caribbean. He started diving at the age of ten thus observing anthropogenic pressure deteriorate his environnement years after years. Doing marine biology was then a mission to be able to protect home. At the age of 16 he created his first project with a team of volunteer to clean all the beaches impacted by the tours des Yoles, a cultural event in Martinique, thus removing 12 tones of trashes in 1 week. He travelled in Canada and France to obtain a Master in Biodiversity Management and in the Bahamas (Cape Eleuthera Institute) and Australia (Australian Institute for Marine Science) to gain more experience on sharks, rays and turtles. His study was focused on diversity distribution and assemblages of deep waters sharks, Hidden Markov Models for megafauna tracking, predator importance related to risk effects, the importance of environnemental variable on fish assemblages and distribution. etc...
He then decided to go back to his native region and work for the government at the national park of Guadeloupe. this experience led him to be the scientific coordinator of the Caribbean Marine Mammal Preservation Network (CARI'MAM) project for the Agoa Sanctuary (Office Français pour la Biodiversité). His principal missions was to create a network of scientist, standardize protocols for marine mammal conservation, organize workshops and training, coordinate scientific campaigns, emulate capacity building and represent the project at international conferences. Wanting to go beyond the French government limitations and objectives for Marine Mammal Conservation he decided to co-create the Caribbean Cetacean Society to ensure the sustainability of this new community created with this network. His mission on the long therm is to create a MPA at the Caribbean scale dedicated to Megafauna conservation to better protect theses fragiles species who can't understand our frontiers.