Why is it important to share a whale sighting ?
To conduct scientific studies, we need the maximum information at sea, however obtaining all of them is very challenging.
Sharing what you are seeing at sea will help us to complete our analysis to know more about when a species is present (seasonality) and where they are (distribution) thus leading to inform us on how they use their habitat.
Your information is even more important if you cross rare species; or entangled animals!
Plus, you get a chance to know exactly who you encountered, as we might be able to identify individuals for sperm whales or dolphins !
What is OBSenMER?
OBSenMER in a few words :
OBSenMER is a participatory science tool serving the knowledge of the marine environment. Concretely, OBSenMER is a collaborative and free digital platform that facilitates the collection, saving and sharing of observations at sea. It concerns all types of observations: marine mammals, fish, birds, but also human activities, such as boating, fishing, pollution, etc.
OBSenMER is for all lovers of the sea: neophytes, casual observers as well as seasoned, experienced naturalists and scientists. OBSenMER is divided into 6 geographic areas: Mediterranean Sea to Azores, Channel Sea, Atlantic, Guyana, Polynesia and Antilles. Each zone is managed by a zone administrator who checks and validates the observations.
This project was born from a fairly simple observation: the sea and its fauna are still unknown despite the irresistible attraction they exert on us. While expeditions are emerging to learn more about the oceans and their biodiversity, these remain rare, expensive, complex to organize and provide little information on a small scale. However, when you are at sea, or when walking on the coast, there is always something going on: a diving bird, swimming turtles, jumping dolphins, floating garbage ... The list is long. What is less well known is that every observation, no matter how small, represents an important source of information. From this was born the idea that we could all, at our scale and whatever our level of competence, become actors in marine biodiversity. OBSenMER proposes to leave the status of passive observer to dare to look at the sea differently and, in a few clicks, to become an actor of its knowledge and preservation.
OBSenMER's Values :
- Collects information on the marine environment in just a few clicks which, in general, is lost because you have not found your paper and pen in time!
- Brings together all the actors of the marine environment, simple observers as well as professionals, in a common dynamic and for a common objective.
- Gathers the observations in one and only place, to make them known and to share them easily.
- Values public data on the marine environment and allows, not its willingness to be open, that this data remains public and therefore accessible to all.
a DATABASE developed on a remote server
a BACK OFFICE or WEBSITE to query and configure the database from any computer
an APP for smartphones and tablets
a LEARNING SPACE to help identify the different marine species encountered
a TOOL TO HELP THE PHOTO-IDENTIFICATION of marine mammals
In addition to these digital tools, there are also communication tools (stickers, posters, brochures) which are sent on demand.
All of these tools are free.
Data on OBSenMER
The observations entered via OBSenMER are visible on the platform within 24 hours to limit the disturbance of the animals.
The observations entered via OBSenMER are validated either by the naturalist structure in charge of the area where they were collected, or by the structure to which the observer belongs.
Observations entered via OBSenMER are public, that is to say visible and accessible to everyone except:
If they are considered sensitive, that is, if they endanger the species observed. In this specific case, the observer will always have access to his observations, but they will not be visible to everyone.
If certain naturalist structures wish to privatize all of their data in the context of monitoring certain species.
PLEASE NOTE: observers remain the owners of their data. OBSenMER cannot in any case appropriate them.
Several levels of observation on OBSenMER
Point observation (level 1)
This level makes it possible, during trips at sea or on the coast, to note and report observations made at a specific location and at a given time. Point observations provide important information on the distribution of certain marine species present in a specific area.
Observation with effort (level 2)
This level of observation is more complex and more restrictive than level 1 because it introduces the notion of effort. The observer, for a minimum of 15 minutes, keeps a close watch and notes the species encountered along his journey. Observations with effort make it possible to assess the abundance of fauna in the area prospected by the vessel. This is an important parameter for monitoring biodiversity.
Expert observations (level 3)
This level adapts to the various monitoring programs put in place by qualified organizations (NGO, marine parks, research labs) which collect information at sea or which collect data collected by their observers from protocols. It is only accessible to competent and qualified observers.