The goal of MONICEPH is to monitor cephalopod pieces found at the surface of the water in the Azores in order to study (i) the diet of cephalopod-eating cetaceans, (sperm whales, but also pilot whales, beaked whales and Risso's dolphins) and (ii) the ecology of deep-water cephalopods.
Whale-watching companies are collecting cephalopod pieces found at the surface of the ocean.
First pictures are taken to help identify the species and understand which part of the cephalopod has been eaten.
Then the beak (if present) and a piece of muscle is stored for later species identification, including DNA barcoding analysis.
Additional data collected includes GPS coordinates, time, date and the species, gender, number and behaviour of cetaceans observed in the area.