Cetacean Research Assistant Program

December 28, 2021
Closing date
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EDMAKTUB is a non-profit organization, dedicated to the study, dissemination, and conservation of the marine environment and specialized in cetacean (dolphins and whales) research. It is mainly dedicated to conducting scientific research projects, but we also run education programs to increase the knowledge people have of the marine environment.

You can join our 7-days eco-volunteer program, to learn more about fin whales and see them in their natural environment and follow how researchers work with these breath taking giants.

This is not a whale watching trip. It is so much more. It is responsible ecotourism while participating in marine mammal conservation.

Our program gives you the opportunity to gain real field experience in cetacean study, and specifically on whales while participating during your seven day stay as part of our scientific team. For us, it means more support and help to continue the research on fin whales for further knowledge and to protect them. As such, your help is invaluable and essential for us. So come and join us just a stone throw away from Barcelona for an experience that you will never forget. We are eager to share with you the secret life of these wonderful animals and show you the importance of research in order to make sure others can have the same experience for long years to come.

During the seven days of the program, you can stay with the rest of EDMAKTUB’s scientific team and share with us not only the marine mammal research but also everyday life.


We will be located in Vilanova i la Geltrú, very close to the port where the research vessel is based. Vilanova i la Geltrú is a coastal town located 50 km south of Barcelona. Below is the plan for the week:

Day 1 (Saturday): Reception, organization and general information. Upon your arrival, we will give a training session to present you the details of Fin Whale Project. It is also the day to define and distribute the tasks to be done during the week and for you to accomodate.

Days 2 to 5: Fieldwork and training sessions.
Whenever weather conditions permit, we will make daily outings of sighting and observation on board our catamaran, the Maktub. We will set off early in the morning and spend most of the day navigating and collecting data. On board, rotating sightings will take place, collecting information not only about Fin whale (
Balaenoptera physalus), also about gray dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), and Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus), as well as great variety of species of seabirds that inhabit the area. Eco-volunteers will participate actively in the life on board of the catamaran, and will be able to learn basic navigation techniques, but the main objective will be to learn and practice the different research methodologies: taking of images for photo-identification, collection of biological samples and oceanographic data, observation of the behavior of animals ….
Whether on the boat or back to the harbour, there will be different presentations focusing on biology, ecology, research and conservation techniques.

Day 6: Analysis of data collected. It is a day dedicated to presenting the methods of data analysis and to make an initial analysis of the results obtained so far.

Day 7 (Friday): Farewell, baggage collection and cleaning.

How to Apply

Fill in the application form on our website. A contribution of 800 Euros is needed to participate (includes training, research material, accommodation and food). * Terms and conditions are found on the Edmaktub website.

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