Reunion island offers a great biodiversity of cetaceans and although numerous species are present year-round, these populations have been little-studied until 2001.
The association GLOBICE was created on April 19th 2001, on Mr Bernard ROTA's initiative, thus bringing together people with a passion for the ocean and cetaceans. The association started with a first set of regular data collection about cetaceans in Reunion island.
A cetologist was hired by the association in 2006 to develop rigorous scientific programs. The results of these studies bring elements necessary to the conservation of cetaceans.
The association GLOBICE was officially recognized by the prefecture of Reunion island as a "protector of the environment" on June 12th 2006. It is also a member of the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, since June 4th 2010.
The association's subjects are the study and conservation of cetaceans.
It develops research programs aimed at the conservation of the species present around Reunion island and in the Indian Ocean. The goal is to increase the knowledge about these species in order to develop apropriate conservation programs.
The main goals of the association are:
• to study the populations of cetaceans of Reunion island and act upon their conservation;
• to increase public awareness of the protection of marine mammals and their natural environment;
• to develop research and conservation programs on cetaceans in the South-West Indian Ocean, in a regional cooperation context;
• to coordinate the Stranding Network in Reunion island.
Programs of action are lead on multiple scales:
• at a local level, the association leads scientific studies as well as awareness activities. We believe it is essential that our actions should help the local population to feel involved with the island's environment, as well as ocean protection in general. This is why we communicate in various manners among scientists, schools and the general public;
• at a regional level, the association is a stakeholder in a network of speakers among states of the Indian Ocean. It develops research programs within the framework of regional cooperation. It is also an opportunity to promote our know-how and our partnerships in Reunion island;
• at a national level, GLOBICE coordinates the Stranding Network of Reunion island, in direct collaboration with the national Stranding Network. The association is a member of the IUCN.
The results of our studies are also presented on multiple scales:
• at a local scale, to the local authorities in order to help decision making concerning cetaceans;
• at a regional scale, to the member states of the COI (Indian Ocean Commission) cetacean network in order to increase research on marine mammals and migratory species;
• at a national scale, to the national Stranding Network, coordinated by the Research Center on Marine Mammals of La Rochelle. The results of GLOBICE concerning the cetaceans of Reunion island were used to elaborate species conservation statuses for (the IUCN ?) Red Lists;
• at an international scale, the association has participated in international conferences and workshops (including the International Whaling Commission), and published papers in scientific reviews.