Satellite tracking reveals north-south whale highway across the Mediterranean, intersecting one of the world’s busiest ship lanes

 This is a replicate of a news item posted on the website of the Tethys Research Institute a few days ago:

Fin whales that live in the oceans are known to undergo seasonal migrations between the tropics and high-latitude waters spanning thousands of km. By contrast, movements of the population of fin whales residing in the . . . → Read More: Satellite tracking reveals north-south whale highway across the Mediterranean, intersecting one of the world’s busiest ship lanes

European Cetacean Society – 2015 Conservation Award

On the 25th of March 2015 I had the great honour of receiving the European Cetacean Society 2015 “Mandy McMath Conservation Award”.

I was utterly surprised because the organisers were successful in keeping me in the dark to the last second, and deeply moved.

Dear colleague and friend Mark Simmonds undertook the . . . → Read More: European Cetacean Society – 2015 Conservation Award

Restoring ecological links in no-take MPAs is a good thing

On 31 December 2014, Peter J.S. Jones published this important opinion on the Open Channels portal, a recommended reading not only for marine conservation ecologists but also for anyone interested in marine conservation issues. By re-establishing natural links amongst the components of marine ecosystems, habitat restoration will bring about consequences in animal populations, such . . . → Read More: Restoring ecological links in no-take MPAs is a good thing

The State of the World’s Oceans for Marine Mammal Habitat Protection

This past week at conferences in Adelaide and Sydney, Australia, with marine mammal and marine mammal protected area specialists from around the world, my colleague Erich Hoyt and I, in our capacity as co-chairs of the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force, presented the map you see here to illustrate what is and what . . . → Read More: The State of the World’s Oceans for Marine Mammal Habitat Protection

Tourism could help saving Mediterranean monk seals, but if unmanaged it will only accelerate their demise

The pup shows no fear of visitors. Photo © Flavio Piccolomini.

With only a few hundreds individuals remaining, Mediterranean monk seals are the most endangered marine mammals in Europe and among the most threatened of the whole planet. Once widely diffused throughout the Mediterranean and nearby Eastern Atlantic Ocean, as a result of . . . → Read More: Tourism could help saving Mediterranean monk seals, but if unmanaged it will only accelerate their demise

A little seed of hope for the Patmian sea

I am just back from the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Torre Guaceto, Brindisi, where I parted company with Michalis Pouliezos, Athanasios Panagiotakis and Nikolaos Giamaios, three members of the community of professional fishermen of Patmos, who are now on their way back to their Greek home island.

Inspecting the protected area. From . . . → Read More: A little seed of hope for the Patmian sea

Chronicle of deaths foretold – an update with photograph

Here is an update from my colleague Alexandros Frantzis from the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute in Greece, who as been actively trying to investigate the full extent of the damage to the population of Cuvier’s beaked whales found in the waters south of Crete.

I recall that exactly in that area, which is well . . . → Read More: Chronicle of deaths foretold – an update with photograph

Chronicle of deaths foretold

It was bound to happen.

Some may recall the futile attempts by representatives of civil society last November, at the Meeting of the Parties of the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic, of ensuring that agencies responsible for the production of noise in the sea . . . → Read More: Chronicle of deaths foretold

Mediterranean Governments miss opportunity to protect threatened beaked whales

Cuvier’s beaked whale killed in Canary islands waters in coincidence with NATO naval maneuvers. Photo courtesy of Vidal Martin, SECAC.

The Cuvier’s beaked whale, Ziphius cavirostris, is a cetacean particularly vulnerable to the loud noise propagated underwater across the oceans, e.g., by military sonar and by seismic surveys to prospect for oil and . . . → Read More: Mediterranean Governments miss opportunity to protect threatened beaked whales

IUCN’s WCPA SSC Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force launched

Dan Laffoley, WCPA-Marine Vice Chair, presenting the MMPA Task Force (credit: Oscar Manuel Ramirez Flores)

The creation of the IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force (MMPATF) was formally announced on 24 October 2013 by Dan Laffoley, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara on behalf of the . . . → Read More: IUCN’s WCPA SSC Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force launched