1st International Workshop “Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation of Sperm Whale in the Mediterranean Sea”
Ischia Island, Italy
17th-18th November 2011
In the Mediterranean Sea, the sperm whale is one of eight regular cetacean species. Sperm whales were once considered to be quite abundant in some parts of the Mediterranean,but large herds are unheard of today.
No estimate of population size exists for the region, but the total number of sperm whales in the Mediterranean is more likely in the hundreds than the thousands. It is unclear whether sperm whales have regular movement patterns within the Mediterranean.
Information on the reproductive behaviour and ecology of sperm whales in the Mediterranean remains sparse.
The sperm whale Mediterranean subpopulation was proposed for listing as endangered, following the criterion C2a(ii) which refers to “population size estimated to number fewer that 2500 mature individuals and either; a continuing decline, observed, projected, or inferred, in numbers of mature individuals and at least 95% of mature individuals in one sub population” (IUCN/ACCOBAMS Workshop on the Red List Assessment of Cetaceans in the ACCOBAMS Area -‐‑Monaco, 5-‐‑7 March 2006).
Poor knowledge of its ecology and status, together with suspected decline in numbers, make efforts to share data and information on Mediterranean sperm whale a reliable tool to provide a comprehensive scientific framework for the knowledge and conservation of the species.
Objectives and main workshop topics
In order to promote greater participation in international dialogue and scientific knowledge exchange (even not yet published) on Mediterranean sperm whale, by doing so, to strengthen both the scientific and conservational effort on the species locally, nationally and internationally, the University of Genova and Oceanomare Delphis Onlus, together with the Associazione Menkab, jointly organized the workshop “Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation of Sperm Whale in the Mediterranean Sea” held in Ischia Island, Italy, on 17th‑18th November 2011.
The Workshop focused on current status and trends of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean Sea (distribution, habitat use, ecology, behaviour, etc) in order to:
• Share scientific information and methodologies between different research groups;
• Find novel mechanisms to enhance international cooperation for the sperm whale conservation;
• Define a platform for launching new scientific partnerships, activities or projects, with active participation of both public (Universities) and private non profit organizations.
Maurizio Wurtz, University of Genova
Daniela Silvia Pace, Oceanomare Delphis Onlus
Barbara Mussi, Oceanomare Delphis Onlus
Oceanomare Delphis Onlus
Fax +39 06 50910791
The Organisers acknowledge the support of the workshop by:
Associazione Amici di Riccardo Domenici, OceanCare, Marco Castagna, Giuseppe Farace, Katia Massaro, Andrea e Kate Proto, Oceanomare Delphis Staff.
17th November 2011
14.00 Opening ceremony
Welcome from the Organizational Committee
Welcome from the Authorities
14.30 – 16.45 1st session: Conservation
Chairman: Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Tethys Research Institute
Biology and conservation status of sperm whale (Physeter catodon) in the Mediterranean Sea.
Mehdi Aissi, University of Genoa
A multidisciplinary study on the reasons of a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) mass stranding.
Sandro Mazzariol, University of Padua
Ecotoxicological status of seven sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded along the Adriatic coast of Southern Italy.
Silvia Maltese and Letizia Marsili, University of Siena
Driftnetting effects on sperm whale: a Mediterranean challenge.
Daniela Silvia Pace and Barbara Mussi, Oceanomare Delphis Onlus
Critical habitat for sperm whales in the Southwest Mediterreanean Sea
Renaud de Stefanis, Estacion Biologica de Donana CSIC
16.45 – 17.15 Coffee break
17.15 – 19.15 2nd session: Acoustics as a tool to study sperm whale’s ecology and behaviour
Chairman: Jonathan Gordon, University of St Andrews
Sperm whale biosonar: searching for prey.
Walter Zimmer, NURC NATO
Abundance estimates for sperm whales in the Mediterranean Sea from passive acoustic line-transect surveys.
Tim Lewis and Anna Moscrop, IFAW
Whale gates: the importance of permanent submarine observatories for monitoring sperm whale population structure and trends.
Francesca Zardin, CIBRA, University of Pavia
18th November 2011
09.00 – 11.00 3rd session: Ecology and Behaviour
Chairman: Luke Rendell, University of St Andrews
Geostatistical modelling of spatial distribution of sperm whale (Physeter catodon) in the Pelagos sanctuary from sparse count data and heterogeneous observation efforts.
Cristina Fiori, University of Genoa
The seasonal status of sperm whale in the Ligurian Sea: changing paradigm implies a better conservation management.
Alexandre Gannier, Groupe de Recherche sur les Cétacés
Mediterranean sperm whale photo-identification: geographic difference in marks prevalence?
Jessica Alessi, University of Genoa
11.00 – 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 – 13.30 4th session: Ecology and Behaviour
Chairman: Alexandre Gannier, Groupe de Recherche sur les Cétacés
Sperm whales around the Balearic Islands.
Luke Rendell, University of St Andrews
Sperm whale occurrence and distribution around Ischia Island.
Barbara Mussi and Daniela Silvia Pace, Oceanomare Delphis Onlus
Sperm whale occurrence, site fidelity and population structure along the Hellenic Trench (Greece, Mediterranean Sea).
Alexandros Frantzis, Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute
Passive Acoustic Monitoring: tools for sperm whale research and conservation.
Jonathan Gordon, University of St Andrews
13.30 – 14.30 Lunch
14.30 – 17.30 General discussion
Chairman: Maurizio Wurtz, University of Genoa
17.30 – 18.30 Video session