• Ischia Dolphin Project - The Research

  • MMO and monitoring

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  • Common dolphin

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Projects and Activities

  • Roman Dolphins
  • Ischia Dolphin Project

Roman Dolphins is the research project monitoring the cetaceans frequenting the Roman coast between Fiumicino, Ostia and Torvaianica, including the Marine Protected Area "Secche di Tor Paterno". The target species is the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The species is protected by the Bern, Barcelona and Washington Convensions, by the EU Habitat Directive and by the 157/’92 Italian law, resulting the only species, among those under the protection of the MPA “Secche di Tor Paterno”, profiting of a very high degree of consideration in terms of conservation measures. To date, 90 individuals were photoidentified by Oceanomare Delphis Onlus researchers.


The purpose of this project is to achieve a better understanding of the presence of bottlenose dolphin and the interactions with human activities along the Roman littoral. In particular, the study is developing a regular monitoring program to study the distribution, the abundance, the use of the habitat and behavior of the species, to produce an updated data platform and to evaluate the impact of fishing activities (gillnets and trawlers).



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The Ischia Dolphin Project has an educational purpose with the aim to increase knowledge of the general public to meet the needs of conservation of cetaceans in the Mediterranean. Field courses are open to everybody who wish to share and work enthusiastically on the field. Anybody can participate. The Project is almost exclusively supported by the financial contribution of project participants. The money you pay to participate in the program will be used to cover the project running costs. The financial contribution of project participants is essential to allow ODO study and conservation activities to continue. Read Jean Gab's Diary, the IDP blog.


Since 1997, the research has focused on the submarine canyon of Cuma, a deep submarine valley which lies to the north of the Ischia island. Submarine canyons play an important role in biological events and are often areas of high species diversity because of their oceanographic characteristics. The main goal of the project is the conservation of the habitat used by whales and dolphins, habitat which is always more corrupted and threatened by human activities.

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