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Our actions




Agreement for the provision of geo-referenced data

Between the undersigned:

Shelltone Whale Project, a 1901 law association.

Represented by its Chairman, Mr Pierre Lavagne de Castellan


The Marine Protected Areas Agency, a national public administrative establishment.

having its registered office at

16 Customs Quay, BP 42932


In recent years, the Agoa Sanctuary has collected a number of data on cetaceans. These data were acquired by the sanctuary (via the various campaigns at sea, the installation of acoustic beacons as well as the collection of opportunistic data…) but also by local actors (associations, consulting firms, private groups…).

A more detailed study of these data has highlighted feeding, resting and socialization areas for several marine mammal species. In order to achieve more robust results, the Agency is seeking the Shelltone Whale Project to enhance its data and knowledge on the subject. This project will be carried out as part of a master’s internship starting in January.


This information, assembled in databases, is then analysed and stored at the centre of marine protected areas, these observations will eventually provide a visual overview of the state of play in the part of the sanctuary where the Shelltone Whale Project operates, the leeward coast of Guadeloupe, from Deshaies to Basse Terre.

The Agoa Sanctuary is a marine protected area dedicated to marine mammals in the French West Indies.

The Agoa Sanctuary aims to ensure a favourable conservation status for marine mammals by protecting them and their habitats from the direct or indirect negative impacts, actual or potential, of human activities.

The Agoa sanctuary carries out actions aimed at better understanding and protecting marine mammals and their habitats while promoting a harmonious coexistence between human and animal activities.

These actions are part of the overall objective of the sanctuary and its main principles of action: limitation of negative interactions, limitation of pollution, knowledge, information and public awareness, development of means of surveillance, cooperation.



Internship agreement between the University of the West Indies from Pointe à Pitre and the Shelltone Whale Project.

From January 30 to February 24, 2017:

We welcome Ms. Océanne Amaya Cipollini, a student in L3 life and earth science, biology of organisms and ecosystems.

Internship subject: photo identification and acoustic observation of cetaceans, ethology and study of marine mammals in the Agoa sanctuary, from Deshaies to Basse Terre.


Océanne and Léa at work on the Sec Nord, facing Baille Argent.


From 15 January to 9 February 2018:

We are working with Aurélie Martineau, a student in L3 at BOE (Biologie des Organismes et de l’Ecosysteme) in Guadeloupe.

Internship subject: Implementation of geo-referenced data on cetaceans of the leeward coast of Guadeloupe, study of the bio-acoustic tool, acoustic identification of species and their behaviour in their environment.

Aurelie at work on the whale sanctuary.


Lectures aboard the American university ship Ocean Star.

Regularly, the university ship Ocean Star anchors in Deshaies, the Seamester organization programs, at each passage, a conference on the research of the Shelltone Whale Project presented to American students in marine biology by Pierre Lavagne de Castellan.



Publications & Conférences





The book in which I had the pleasure of participating:



About this book :

Animals are much smarter than we ever thought… Regularly, discoveries are made that shed light on their sensitivity, their emotional capacity, their generosity, their solidarity and, dare we say, their wisdom.
Seven brilliant minds, with exceptional backgrounds, take us into this fascinating universe of animal intelligence. Thanks to them, you will discover the incredible powers of whale song that boost the protein content of plankton, you will see, with bonobos, that laughter is not man’s own. You will understand that you can manage a team by taking inspiration from schools of fish. You will notice that ants invented agriculture long before humans did….
These examples, and many others, prove to us that the supremacy of man over animal is a pure fiction and that, even better, animals may be the salvation plank of humanity through their capacities for survival and adaptation.

Let’s reinvent our relationship with the animal, our survival depends on it!


Press and testimonies

Télérama, article d’Emmanuel Tellier :
Pierre Lavagne de Castellan, l’homme qui chante comme une baleine

France Inter, chronique d’Anne Pastor :
Le chant des baleines

France Antilles du 16/02/15 :
France Antilles

Radio Nova :

Néoplanète :

Interview Post conférence Néoplanète :

Conférence Pierre Lavagne de Castellan Université due l’intelligence animale :

Testimony from Heather Harding . Marine biologist. Maui – Hawaii – USA


Hi Pierre,

Your legacy lives on here in Maui.  At the last whaledreamers I had the Shelltone you gave me and I told its story.  The people who had not heard it were FASCINATED and inspired.  You often made jokes about it when you started to play it, implying that it was sort of a silly project.

But I don’t know if you realize how inspiring it is for people.  The act of creating something, putting your heart, soul, and life savings into it out of a passion and feeling for its rightness (not out of logic or wanting to get a “return” on it) is, in itself, a very powerful act.

And the whales seem to be calling this sort of behavior out of us.

We may not know WHY we are doing what we are doing, but we can trust there is a reason.  It is sooo important that we all do this sort of thing more and more to help balance and heal a world which is ill with acts done to it by people who do things mostly for greed or some selfish gain–so your example is extremely valuable.

Also, your instrument is quite beautiful (I love the purple color!!). Dolphin Dave and Sam were able to make lots of amazing sounds come out of it, although I can manage little more than a bleat so far.  That it can play underwater is unique as well.

I LOVE the Shelltone you gave me.  Thank you so much.  I treasure it!  And with it will come your story to all the people I encounter in my whale journeys, the children in my classes, the future Maui Whaledreamer gatherings.  And I know that it will continue to make waves and inspire people to follow their own whaledreams.

I hope you know how valuable this project has been and continues to be for so many.

I loved all my time with you and Dominic, David and Bob.  Give them my love,

Heather Harding . Marine biologist. Maui – Hawaii – USA