November Update: A Fantastic Humpback Whale Season, Unusual Krill Stranding and Unique Wildlife Encounters

Article: Unveiling the intricacy of the humpback whale migration

The BCSS station monitors the Mozambique Channel continuously, recording all animal encounters, of which nine cetacean species. Over the last five years, more than 6000 animal recordings can be found in the database – of which more than one thousand are migrating humpback whale sightings. The season is coming to an end as the whales prepare to leave Mozambique for their Southern Sea feeding grounds, and we find ourselves pondering the intricacies and complexities of this annual blue migration in the Mozambique Channel.

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Wildlife Recordings

With a harlequin snake eel sighting leaving the team in sheer excitement, the last few months were dotted with incredible wildlife encounters. Divers were greeted by sometimes more than one hundred humpback whales while cruising through the archipelago, while underwater sharks and ray species hovered over colourful coral reefs.

Rare sighting: harlequin snake eel

A harlequin snake eel (Myrichthys colubrinus) was sighted in the Bazaruto Archipelago (pictured above). Because of the animal’s likeliness to a banded sea krait (Laticauda colubrina) it is difficult to tell the species apart, though the team was able to identify the animal with ease, as there are some subtle differences.

10 Marine Debris Cleanups, 277kg Waste Collected

The third week of September was Week Clean Up Week, which prompted BCSS and Kisawa to join forces and take to the beach, where a team of 15 collected 16 big bags of debris off the ecosystem. Over the period of the last two months, the BCSS team spent many hours collecting marine debris at dedicated sites.

Below, the graph shows that the mudflat habitat site and the mangrove forest yield significant amounts of discarded clothing and marine gear. Beach clean ups resulted in the most marine debris in general, of which a staggering average of 65% being plastic waste. Contact us for access to the database. 

Permaculture update

On the 13th of October, a gardening workshop was organised for both BCSS and Kisawa teams. The team members were taught by BCSS’s permaculture gardeners Sergio and Arlindo how to safely unroot and plant four banana trees, as they were moved from BCSS to Kisawa’s nursery garden. While the team and BCSS visitors have been enjoying the recent harvests of cabbage, bananas and carrots, our skilled permaculture gardeners have been busy preparing for the summer season. Sweet corn and sweet potatoes have been planted so they can be harvested in the beginning of the new year. Our on-site chefs create the most delicious meals using our organically grown, local produce every day.



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Cover photo by Orlando Miranda & Salvador Colvee.

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