PHOTO-ID Research surveys are conducted on a designated Saturday, once a month from January to November, under a NMFS-NOAA authorization.
Our PERMIT boats may approach dolphins closer that 50 yards and carefully follow dolphins for the purpose of photo identification by still photography and behavioral studies through the use of video and notes. The General Authorization does not apply to survey boats unless they are under the guidance of a TDP member who is a NMFS Permit Co-Investigator (CI) and their name is specified on the NMFS Permit which is included in all the Team Leader Kits.
To qualify as a CI, one must have a minimum of 70 service hours on research boats. Boats without CI's on board, conduct "traditional" surveys.
TRAINING is a requirement for participation on surveys. Training workshops consists of a 90 minute program to learn about the estuarine Bottlenose dolphins and a 60 minute training program on how to be a research crew member.
All viable photos and data are submitted to Duke University for entry into two databases there: MABDC (Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Catalog) and OBIS-SEAMAP (ocean Biogeographical Information System Spatial Ecological Analysis of Mega-vertebrate Populations).
Crews are not obligated to participate in every survey. TDP appreciates two or more per year in order to accumulate as much data as possible.