IDP 2016 Results

Pm ProcidaPRESS RELEASE, ROME 26/04/2017 – Oceanomare Delphis Onlus (ODO) presents the results of the 2016 campaign of Ischia Dolphin Project (IDP), carried out between May and October in the waters of the Campania Archipelago (Ischia, Procida, Capri) and Pontino Archipelago (Ventotene and Ponza).

The project involved ODO researchers and volunteers in 81 sea journeys, travelling 4080 km and totalling 707 hours of research and monitoring activity. 45 cetacean sightings have been registered of 5 different species, with an effort of 67 hours of direct observation in 304 km travelled with the animals.

 the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) - encountered 26 times – is the most sighted species of the season, followed by the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with 11 sightings, and lastly the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) with 4. Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) were observed only one time, whereas the Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) was not encountered, although it is one of the target species of the project.

The scientific evidence gathered by IDP over a span of more than 20 years of research on the cetacean population in the study area has allowed ODO to promote important actions for the conservation of these species. 3 are in fact the areas that have been submitted as candidate to obtain the status of ‘Important Marine Mammal Area’(IMMA) by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN): the coastal waters of Ischia (for the bottlenose dolphin and common dolphin), the waters between Ischia and Ventotene (for Risso’s dolphin and fin whale) and the Campano and Pontino Archipelago (for sperm whale). This status would acknowledge to these areas a key role for the species and would translate in the implementation of specific conservation measures by the respective governments.

Tt Regina-IsabellaMoreover, the results of the Workshop “Research and Conservation of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) in the Mediterranean Sea”, held last April in Ischia and promoted by ODO in collaboration with Oceancare and the Biological Conservation Research Foundation in Malta (BICREF), were included in the official documents of ACCOBAMS – Agreement for the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and contiguous Atlantic Areas. Thanks to this, the international scientific community will be able to review and update the last conservation and management plan for the common dolphin dated back to 2004, and kick-start the process of reviewing the status of the species in the IUCN Red List.

Lastly, ODO has presented to the European Commission the data gathered on the bottlenose dolphin in the study areas (Roman coastal waters and Campano and Pontino Archipelagos) in order to highlight the concentration areas of this species – listed in the Annex II of the European Directive Habitat, with a view to establish new sites for Natura 2000 and guarantee a long-term management of the natural habitats and marine species that are threatened or are rare, on the European level (Malta, 27-29 September 2016).

Ischia Dolphin Project 2016 has involved a team of 12 researchers and 72 volunteers from all over the world: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. A team of bloggers has followed the life of the volunteers on board of the lab-vessel Jean Gab: Jean Gab’s Diary.

Enrolment for Ischia Dolphin Project 2017 is now open. Download the program and the application forms!