A travelling exhibition about the humpback whale has opened in Seychelles. “Mysterious Cetacean” opened on Friday at the museum of natural history in Victoria - the capital city of the island nation.
Begum Nageon de Lestang, who is with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC)-European Union (EU) Biodiversity Programme, told SNA that the display is organised by the Biodiversity Programme of the IOC with funding from the EU.
“The aim of the exhibition is to present scientific knowledge on humpback whales and raise awareness about the need to protect them, especially as whale watching is a new economic activity in the southwest Indian Ocean,” said Nageon de Lestang.
|The display is organised by the Biodiversity Programme of the IOC with funding from the EU. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Seychelles - a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean - is the third country after Mauritius and Reunion to host this travelling exhibition.
“In this so-called "à la carte" exhibition, the public adopts an active posture choosing among the various contents proposed: history, anatomy, migration, food, legends as the humpback whale reveals some of its secrets” explained Nageon de Lestang.
Nageon de Lestang said this exhibition is part of “the operation "Humpback Whales of the South Indian Ocean: Knowledge and Awareness", an initiative of the Reunion-based Centre d’études et de découverte des tortues marines (CEDTM).”
Berthilde Belle, curator of the Seychelles Natural History museum, said that they are honoured to host this exposition.
|In this exhibition, the public adopts an active posture choosing among the various contents proposed: history, anatomy, migration, food, legends as the humpback whale reveals some of its secrets (Sylke Rohrlach/Flickr) Photo License: CC-BY-SA 2.0|
“As the exhibition is educational we have invited schools to come during the course of this week to view. We do not get the chance to see the humpback whale up close, so this is a good opportunity. We hope students will come and get informed on this giant species found in the deep ocean,” said Belle.
Belle said that to close the exhibition on Saturday, they have invited the museums club members for an activity where they will see the display. The natural history museum will then launch its official programme for this year.
“Like this marvellous animal that knows no borders, this exhibition will travel through the countries of the region. After Seychelles, it will be presented in Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros, and Madagascar” said Nageon de Lestang.
Sightings of the humpback whales are not frequent for the inner islands of Seychelles, though these sightings are recorded for the outer islands. A few months back, in September last year, two adult humpback whales died after beaching themselves on Aldabra Atoll.
Located 1,120 kilometres southwest of the main island of Mahe, the atoll is a UNESCO World Heritage site.