The new SSI Marine Mammal Ecology Course

Big news animal lovers!

We are super excited to let you all know that Scuba Schools International have just launched the brand new Marine Mammal Ecology course, where you can learn all about the fascinating mammals that grace our oceans.

Do you have a passion to save the ocean and the marine animals that call it their home? Does the thought of diving with whales fascinate you? Do you want to learn more about the ecology, biology, and conservation of marine mammals?

After completion of the course you will come away with a certification, and an in-depth knowledge of marine mammals, including threats to their habitats, and what you can do to protect them.
We are here to tell you what you can expect from this exciting new course, who can take it, and where you can put it to good use afterwards.

What will you learn in the Marine Mammal Ecology course?

Are you passionate about protecting marine mammals? Are you interested in learning about their biology, ecology, and conservation? If so, this course is for you! 

You will learn how to identify marine mammal species, how they differ from land mammals, as well as looking at what they eat and where they live. From dolphins to dugongs, walruses to whales, you will cover all types of marine mammal species, looking at how they have evolved to survive in their marine environment.

Who can take the course?

If you are over ten years old and are crazy about cetaceans and other marine mammals, you are welcome to take the Marine Mammal Ecology course.

The course is completely classroom-based, with a total of six sessions, adding up to between three to six hours of study.

Upgrade your training afterwards

After you have completed the SSI Marine Mammal Ecology course, you can go on to upgrade your training with one of the following courses:

The experience and knowledge gained from the SSI Environmental programs are a great way to do your bit towards saving the ocean for future generations. They are also a great foundational tool for anyone considering a career in marine biology or working in the dive industry.

When you complete a certain amount of specialty programs such as these, as well as a certain number of logged dives, you will automatically earn the SSI Recognition Ratings: SSI Specialty Diver, SSI Advanced Open Water Diver, and SSI Master Diver.

7 best destinations to spot marine mammals

After completing your SSI Marine Mammal Ecology course, you will most likely be eager to go and see some of these marine mammals in the water.

Seeing a marine mammal in the wild, from a boat or under the water while scuba diving is one of the most special and memorable experiences you can have. We have put together a list of our seven favourite places around the world to see marine mammals, and for us living here in Aotearoa, we have some great opportunities to see mammals native to our waters:

1. Aotearoa - New Zealand

New Zealand has some of the best diversity of marine mammals in the world.
The Hauraki Gulf near Auckland offers plenty of whale watching excursions, with whales such as Bryde’s sperm, and orcas all possible to see. 25 out of the 37 marine mammals in the southern hemisphere have been identified in this area!
The waters of Akaroa off the Kaikoura coast are nutrient-rich, which attracts dusky and Hector’s dolphins in large pods. There are many boat tours that offer the chance to go out and see the dolphins, and even swim with them in the harbor.

2. Sri Lanka
An island country in south-east Asia, Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean. It is well-known amongst tourists for both whale and dolphin watching.
Blue, humpback, sperm, and Bryde’s whales can be seen all around the coasts of Sri Lanka. Many blue whales are spotted regularly from the south coast, and humpback whales seen on the east coast.
Dolphins are also regularly sighted in the waters of Sri Lanka, with many species including spinner and spotted dolphins.

3. Scotland, United Kingdom
In the north of the United Kingdom, Scotland has the Atlantic Ocean to its west and the North Sea to its east. 
More than 20 cetacean species can be found in the waters around Scotland. Minke, fin, sperm, humpback, and orca whales included on the list, as well as bottlenose and common dolphins. 
The most popular locations for whale watching are the isles of Shetland and Orkney.

4. Baja California, Mexico
Mexico offers some incredible and diverse diving experiences, depending on which area you visit.
Baja California in particular is thriving with large marine mammals. La Paz on the east coast, and Cabo San Lucas in the south are well-known tourist spots, and the best places to spot these marine mammals.
Magdalena Bay on the west coast is an area where gray whales come every year to calf. Humpbacks can be spotted in large numbers from Cabo San Lucas, and sea lions can be seen in large numbers from La Paz year-round.

5. Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands are the southernmost community of Spain, however they are closer to Marrakech than they are to Spain. The sunny Canary Islands are an archipelago made up of  Lanzarote, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, La Palma, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, and El Hierro, which all offer some exciting cetacean spotting.
Almost 30 different species of whales and dolphins reside in or visit the Canary Islands regularly, and can be sighted around 80% of the year. These species include pilot, sperm, and humpback whales.
Whales can be spotted year-round but to see the most, it is best to head there in the winter and spring months.

6. Azores, Portugal
The Azores is an archipelago that is very remote out in the North Atlantic Ocean. 
It is frequented by many species of whales and dolphins including sperm, humpback, blue, short-finned pilot, orca, and fin whales, as well as common, bottle nose, and Risso’s dolphins.
The best time of year to visit the Azores is late March to early June when you are most likely to see whales.

7. Marsa Alam, Egypt
Mara Alam is a small town in Egypt on the western coast of the Red Sea. It is famous worldwide between scuba divers with sharks and turtles being regular sightings.
Marsa Alam offers the chance to see wild dolphins up close in the water, and is also home to the elusive dugong!
Sataya Reef or Samadae Reef are the places to be for swimming with dolphins. Spinner dolphins use the area to rest, swimming slowly and calmly around the shallow waters.

Which one will you choose?
To find out more about the SSI ecology course CLICK HERE.


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