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Research project data

Research subject/title:
Visual detection of large cetaceans from High Speed Crafts in order to limit the risks of collision

Project coordinator / institution in charge:

ACCOBAMS Priority number (VIEW):

Project description:
Since 1999, navigation companies have made their ferries available for a program supported by the french division of the Pelagos Sanctuary. The main objectives of this project are to limit the risks of collision, validate some protocols for population monitoring and organise informative conference for passengers. One of studies of this program treats the “Visual Detection of Large Cetaceans from High Speed Crafts in order to Limit the Risks of Collision”. The presence of a scientist onboard during a working season has shown how whales were detected from the decks of these HSC. This information is essential in order to establish some proposals to improve the security of HSC (e.g. ergonomic modifications, presence of a specialised observer onboard). Subsidiary applications – which have already been tested or not – could limit the risks of collision and be applicable to all types of merchant ships. These applications include a system of positioning report for Large Cetaceans (REPCET) and a training of the staff of the watch at the National School of Merchant Marine. A synthesis of the actual technological developments is presented for their interests when visual detection is limited (e.g. night time observations).


  • Physeter macrocephalus
  • Balaenoptera physalus

Study area:

Pelagos Sanctuary

Geographic Area:

  • Tyrrhenian Sea
  • Ligurian Sea

ACCOBAMS subregion:

  • Western Mediterranean and Contiguous Atlantic Area
Year beginning: 2001Year end: 2007

Ongoing project:


Main research platform/facility:

Principal investigator:

Pascal MAYOL

Investigator email:

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Project team:

Pascal MAYOL

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