In May 2018, the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group embarked on a unique research expedition to explore the growing numbers of humpback whales being seen in Irish and Icelandic waters, some of whom are common to both.
In addition to surveying humpback whales the expedition team recorded other species including Blue Whales, Pilot Whales and critically endangered White-beaked whales in remote areas and up into the Arctic Circle.
From their expedition research vessel Celtic Mist the scientists collected data over a seven week long trip using film and photography for identification and drone technology to collect breath samples.
The Irish team collaborated with colleagues in the Icelandic Marine and Freshwater Research Institute and the University of Iceland.
They promoted links with coastal communities. They combined knowledge and resources to more effectively carry out shared responsibilities towards humpback whale conservation and management. They told stories. And listened.
I was with them aboard RV Celtic Mist for the seven weeks to document the expedition from Ireland to Iceland returning via the Faroes and Outer Hebrides.
Against an extraordinary marine canvas in this film I'll explore some of the things that connect these two island nations including social, economic and cultural identity.
(COMPLETION Spring 2020)
In September 2019, a group of marine scientists travelled to the Cabo Verde, West Africa. They had two weeks to sail from the Barlavento Islands in the north to the Sotavento Islands in the south of the archipelago with a simple ambition; document as much of the marine biodiversity they came across in the largely unexplored marine environment.
Drawn from Ireland, Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland and Cabo Verde itself the scientists would need good fortune and good weather. They found both: favourable conditions allowed them access to inshore waters normally too precarious for research; good fortune the opportunity to document a species previously unrecorded at sea in Cabo Verde.
This is their story.
(COMPLETION Summer 2020)