Investing in long-term cetacean research is time and energy consuming. Also, it is necessary to count on a robust budget and/or supporters who and which may provide books, equipments and financial aid. Since 1995 we have been receiving the support of great partners that were extremely important to reach several results. Our team has been rejecting to receive support from corporations which have no compromise with the climate change crisis. In a few occasions we worked hard to charge national pollutant corporations, but it was not enough as in Brazil they then to dictate the steps the federal government shound take. Since 2018 the Brazilian government has no compromise with environmental protection.
We are grateful to the Cetacean Society International (CSI) which were the main responsible for launching the first research efforts in Cananeia in 1995. Mr. William Rossiter was kind in donating books, equipments and financial aid to attend marine mammal conferences to our team members from 1995 to 2019. Words are not enough to express our gratitude.
From 1996 to 1998 and in 2003, the Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), now known as Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), supported the first photo-identification efforts in the Cananeia estuary. It was a pioneering effort which turned this tool into a "must to apply" technicque to investigate Guiana dolphins in Brazilian estuarine and coastal waters. We thank Alison Smith, Vanessa Williams and Nicola Hodgins who gave us strength and confidence.
The Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) is the main funding agency for research in the state of Sao Paulo. Beginning in 1998, FAPESP supported five Masters, one Ph. D., and post doc students investing in cetacean research. Besides, fellowships were approved to undergraduate students from 2007 to 2012. In 2013, we had two major projects funded by FAPESP. One was approved in 2011 to be conducted in four years and was linked to investigating cetacean mortality in Southern Sao Paulo (process 2010/51323-6; more information in PROJECTS – Projeto Atlantis). We established a new laboratory on age estimation for odontocete cetaceans with this support, and shared this histology lab with the Biological Sciences department. We had also another project funded by FAPESP to map the seasonal occurrence of cetaceans long the shore of São Paulo state (process 2011/51543-9; more information in PROJECTS – Cruzeiros Oceanográficos). This was a 2-year funding (2012-2014) project. In 2019 we had another reseach project approved for funding by FAPESP. It is a 2-year study to investigate La Plata dolphins using drones and hydrophones at the northern coast of São Paulo state, where our team discovered that this elusive species is easily detectable in the clearer waters of the surveyed area.
From 2004 to 2007 we had an unforgettable experience with the Earthwatch Institute (EWI). In four years, 101 volunteers from all over the world came to Brazil to help us in cetacean research and conservation efforts. We conducted 14 awesome expeditions to the Cananeia estuary. The EWI not only brought us more and more hands to share the responsibility of protecting cetaceans, but also gave us the possibility of accessing recent technology to conduct our research. We are proud to be chosen and to had a fantastic partner as the EWI.
From 2010 on, the Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP) has also been investing in cetacean research. The Laboratório de Biologia da Conservação de Mamíferos Aquáticos (LABCMA) was established in February 2011 and, since then, received the financial support from the USP to reach international standards. The USP is also supporting a specific programme devoted towards undegraduate students from the Instituto Oceanografico who may get enrolled in a week experience studying Guiana dolphins in the Cananeia estuary.
From March 2011 on, the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) has been supporting the research conducted by LABCMA. First, a fellowship was approved for the main coordinator of the LABCMA to conduct investigation on cetacean mortality in the southern coast of São Paulo (Produtividade em Pesquisa, process number 308331/2010-9). Then, several other fellowships has been supporting undergratuate students. The support coming from the CNPq is of great importance to our research group. In 2021 another fellowship was approved to the LABCMA coordinator in order to conduct studies on La Plata dolphins at the northern coast of São Paulo state (Produtividade em Pesquisa, process number 311396/2020-8).