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Research project data

Research subject/title:
Bottlenose dolphins and human activities (Fisheries, aquaculture and tourism)

Project coordinator / institution in charge:
Bruno Díaz López / The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI

ACCOBAMS Priority number (VIEW):

Project description:
Cetacean populations are affected by man's use of coastal waters, particularly by human activities (fisheries, acquaculture and tourism) and habitat modification. One of the core aims of the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute is to find out more about the bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that inhabit Sardinian waters through different research techniques (Photo-identification, direct observers in fishing boats, test of pingers, bioacoustical studies, etc). The main purpose of this program is to contribuite towards a more detailed understanding of the relationships between bottlenose dolphins and human activities. By knowing more about the presence and behaviour of bottlenose dolphins it enables us to make more informed and wiser decisions about the conservation and management of this population. Using study techniques that neither harm nor seriously disturb the animals, BDRI conducts long-term studies into the ecology and behaviour of bottlenose dolphins in Sardinian waters, as well as collecting detailed information about their environment. This project focuses on the North Sardinia (north-eastern and north-western coast) where aquaculture industry, bycatches in gillnets and aquatic disturbance (noise pollution) influences bottlenose dolphins distribution and behaviour. Cetacean populations are affected by man's use of coastal waters, particularly by fisheries activities and habitat modification. A science-based response to the conservation problems created by interactions between human activities and dolphins depends critically on accurate knowledge of the impacts caused by the interactions. Pressures of commercialism and larger scale tourism activities are now increasing drastically in the Mediterranean Sea. By increasing our knowledge about dolphins and their environment, BDRI researchers will be in a strong position to protect the animals from these and other threats caused by humans.


  • Tursiops truncatus
  • Balaenoptera physalus

Study area:

Norteastern coast of Sardinia (Italy)

Geographic Area:

  • Tyrrhenian Sea

ACCOBAMS subregion:

  • Western Mediterranean and Contiguous Atlantic Area
Year beginning: 1999Year end: 2012

Ongoing project:


Main research platform/facility:

Principal investigator:

Bruno Di­az Lopez

Investigator email:

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Project team:

Bruno Di­az Lopez - Chief Biologist
Julia Andrea Bernal Shirai - General manager
Internships (2-3 per season) and Master students of different European and USA Universities.

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