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      Friday, April 15, 2005

    Theresa Barbo
    (508) 487-3622 x103

    Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies Begin Annual Whale Watch Season
    (Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA) - The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) begins another season of whale watching aboard the Dolphin Fleet on Saturday, April 16. Launching the 2005 season are two trips departing from MacMillan Pier at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., lasting from three and a half to four hours.

    "PCCS naturalists educate passengers on the ecology and natural history of Cape Cod and Massachusetts Bays, focusing on the whales, birds and other marine life passengers are likely to see," says PCCS Whale Watch Education Director Joanne M. Jarzobski, herself a veteran of 1,000 whale watching trips.

    Obtaining data on the marine mammals using local waters is another function of whale watching naturalists. In the case of humpback whales in particular, naturalists collect data to identify and track individual animals. These research activities provide passengers with a unique window into the individual lives of these endangered animals.

    Data collected aboard the DF boats support a multi-species cetacean database for the Cape Cod area and the Center's Gulf of Maine humpback whale catalog, one of the world's richest databases for a wild cetacean species. These data have been used to establish management plans, helped to create the Gerry E. Studds/Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, aids in studying humpback whale entanglement rates, and lends insight into basic biology.

    Leading the inaugural whale watch on April 16 is long-time PCCS Senior Naturalist and Adjunct Scientist Carole Carlson, Ph.D., senior marine science advisor for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Dr. Carlson has worked in the field of whale research and conservation for over 25 years. She is an expert on humpback whales and the whale watching industry.


    Whale watching on the East Coast originated at the Dolphin Fleet (DF) of Provincetown. The Dolphin Fleet (DF) hosted its first whale watch on April 15, 1975. Since 1976, 25,000 DF whale watches have carried an annual average of 100,000 passengers from April through October. Steve Milliken, owner of the Dolphin Fleet, says PCCS naturalists aboard one of his boats, "educate people about the necessity of helping to protect the endangered species that we see." Every DF whale watch carries a PCCS naturalist who uniquely combines ecotourism and science. In addition to regular whale watches, the DF is adding one all-day whale watch every Saturday in June. Whale watches for children will run every Friday morning in June.

    * *

    For ticket information, schedules and pricing, visit the Dolphin Fleet on-line, or by phone at: (800) 826-9300.

    The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies is a private, non-profit institution founded in 1976 and dedicated to protecting marine mammals and preserving the marine coastal environment through public education, research and scientific programs. Click here to visit our whale watch webpage.

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    PCCS Contacts:

    Theresa M. Barbo
    Director of Communications
    (508) 487-3622 x103

    A digital image of a whale watch cruise has either been emailed to you, or you contact the PCCS Press Office at the above phone number or email address for an image to run in your publication.
    Kindly use the courtesy line: "Images Courtesy of the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies"

    Educators Joanne M. Jarzobski
    Director, Whale Watch Education; Marine Education Coordinator
    (508) 487-3622 x107

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