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Building new partnerships

This past week I traveled south to Saly and met with Dawda Saine, a manatee researcher from the Gambia who I have been talking to on email for awhile. Dawda is very enthusiastic to get manatee field research started in his country, so we took the opportunity of his attendance at a fisheries workshop here in Senegal to meet and talk about manatees in his country and future fieldwork. Dawda is also trying to raise funds to travel to Florida for necropsy training at the state’s Marine Mammal Pathobiology lab.

While talking to Dawda we were joined by Alhaji Sesay of Sierra Leone, who is also interested in manatee work. He knows several other colleagues I have been in touch with there. He proudly showed me a manatee sticker on his briefcase from a previous manatee workshop he attended. We all discussed the benefits of a regional network for researchers working directly in the field, the need for assessment of manatee populations, and the need for training for researchers so that they can get the most accurate data. I am always happy to connect with such motivated people working in Africa!

Dawda Saine, Alhaji Sesay and I talk manatees

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