Cetacean density and abundance in the Central and Western Mediterranean Sea


Another freshly accepted paper in the Deep Sea Research Part II Special Issue on European Marine Megafauna. It is currently available online at the link provided below. Enjoy reading. 

Panigada S., Lauriano G., Donovan G. P., Pierantonio N., Cañadas A., Vasquez J. A., Burton L. 2017. Estimating cetacean density and abundance in the Central and Western Mediterranean Sea through aerial surveys: implications for management. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.04.018

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967064517301418

Fishery-independent abundance and density of swordfish in the Central Mediterranean


Freshly accepted paper in the Deep Sea Research Part II Special Issue on European Marine Megafauna. It is currently available online at the link provided below. Enjoy reading. 

Lauriano G., Pierantonio N., Kelly L., Cañadas A., Donovan G. P., Panigada S. 2017. Fishery-independent surface abundance and density estimates of swordfish (Xiphias gladius) from aerial surveys in the Central Mediterranean Sea. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.04.019

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096706451730142X

The Devil We Don’t Know


Dear readers, I am pleased to announce the publication of the followingpaper in the PLoS ONE journal. The full paper as well as supplementary material can be downloaded from the journal  webpage.

Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Lauriano, G., Pierantonio, N., Cañadas, A., Donovan, G., Panigada, S., 2015. The Devil We Don’t Know: Investigating Habitat and Abundance of Endangered Giant Devil Rays in the North-Western Mediterranean Sea. PLoS ONE 10, e0141189. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141189
PLoS ONE Mm2015

Fin whales migration in the Mediterranean Sea


(From the International Whaling Commission website)

A collaborative satellite tagging programme under the auspices of the IWC has shed light on the migration patterns of Mediterranean fin whales.  This latest research develops understanding of the routes travelled by the whales, and therefore the threats they face.

The project began in 2013, but the first tagging attempts were unsuccessful due to an unfortunate combination of harsh weather conditions, erratic whale presence and tag failure.  In March, scientists successfully tagged two whales in waters around the island of Lampedusa, between Sicily and the North African coast.

After several weeks feeding in this area the whales separated, but both ultimately travelled across the Strait of Sicily towards the Pelagos Sanctuary in the northern Mediterranean.  This journey gives the first clear indication that the whales feeding in the Strait of Sicily in winter are the same animals that congregate in the Pelagos Sanctuary in summer.  This research also confirms that fin whales migrate north-south across one of the busiest east-west shipping lanes in the world.

The number of collisions between whales and ships, known as ‘ship strikes,’ is hard to quantify.  Collisions with large ships often go unnoticed or unreported.  The IWC has developed a global ship strike database and is gathering information to build a clearer picture of the problem, in order to develop solutions.

What is already clear is that ship strikes are more likely in areas where whale migration routes and shipping lanes cross.  More work is needed to understand and address the threat to whales when they leave the safety of the Pelagos Sanctuary.  Further work will also be undertaken to establish if there is any relationship between these whales and other known congregations in the eastern Mediterranean.

This programme is a multi-agency collaboration, funded by the Italian Ministry of the Environment, through the IWC and the Tethys Research Institute.  The research is conducted in conjunction with the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Siena, and the Pelagie Islands Marine Protected Area.

You can read more about the project on the website of the Tethys Research Institute as well as the website of the Pelagos Sanctuary.

See also https://duritos.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/monitoring-fin-whales-in-the-central-mediterranean-sea/

Giuseppe Notarbarolo di Sciara awarded with the Mandy McMath Conservation Award


Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, the founder and current president of the Tethys Research Institute (among the other things) has beeen recently awarded with the Mandy McMath Conservation Award at the lates Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society Conference in Malta. Read the speech by Mark Simmonds here.

Monitoring fin whales in the Central Mediterranean Sea


The Tethys Research Institute, with the support of the local Marine Protected Area of Pelagie Islands, is monitoring fin whale movement and migration patterns in the Mediterranean Sea through a satellite telemetry programme. Research activities are carried out in the Island of Lampedusa, Central Mediterranean Sea. In the following video (sorry only in italian, but hopefully soon with subtitles) The Tethys vice-president, Simone Panigada, explains why.

Image

The Tethys Research Institute on Wikipedia


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