Between Ischia and Procida the Marine Protected Area and Oceanomare Delphis will study, from January to April, the seven species present in the waters of the islands.
In order to study the distribution of cetaceans during the winter months and ensure a systematic knowledge of the species present in the waters of Ischia, the Marine Protected Area Regno di Nettuno and Oceanomare Delphis announce the next Winter Campaign dedicated to the monitoring of local populations of cetaceans. An initiative born with the support and contribution of the MPA.
In the study area, there are seven species of cetaceans; among them, the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) are described as “threatened” by the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
As throughout the Mediterranean, the species present in the waters of the MPA Regno di Nettuno, are subject to anthropogenic pressures that impact these animals both at the level of individuals and populations.
For individuals, the dangers are mainly represented by bycatch in fishing gear and collisions with boats. On the other hand, the impact on populations is mainly caused by environmental degradation.
Furthermore, the study area is subject to a high concentration of merchant and pleasure marine traffic that, besides increasing exponentially the risk of collisions with individuals, causes acoustic disturbance to the cetaceans’ sophisticated apparatus of production and reception of sounds. The winter monitoring aims to contribute to the safeguard of these species seriously threatened by the disturbance caused by human activities.
The surveys will take place from January to April aboard Jean Gab, the historical cutter of the association equipped for research on cetaceans.
In addition to visual monitoring and photo-identification of animals, the researchers on board will use a system of towed hydrophones able to detect the vocalizations of the animals present in the area.