Last Updated (Thursday, 04 April 2013 09:22)
EC LIFE+ MIGRATE Project
In the context of the EC LIFE+ MIGRATE project, Ricardo Sagarminaga (Alnitak) and his team are looking for explorers and students to be part of their research teams this summer.
Please check out www.kaiexpeditions.com to sign up as crew member, or send this information around to students and/or explorers who you think could be interested in being part of these surveys that will help develop conservation guidelines and design protected areas for dolphins and turtles in the framework of the European Union Habitat Directive.
The participation share and active participation of up to 80 students and explorers is what they need to make the Survey successful both in terms of data collection as in terms of creating a link between NATURA 2000 and the public!
And for those who cannot join them this summer, you can follow their expeditions on http://luisginillo.wordpress.com/
Ziphius and sonars in the Mediterranean Sea
The Permanent Secretariat would like to thank the GREC, an ACCOBAMS Partner, for providing this article.
UPDATE: Atypical mortality events along the Thyrrhenian Sea Italian coastline
The ACCOBAMS Secretariat has received a brief and important update on the striped dolphins mortality event occurring along the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy.
At the moment about 80 carcasses have been collected in less than 2 months, between Sicily and Southern Tuscany, more than 10 times than average of the period. Post-mortem examinations revealed that 50% of the examined carcasses are positive to Dolphin Morbillivirus and in 65% of the subject a common bacterium (Photobacterium damselae subsp damselae) with hemolytic and necrotic findings was isolated. The event is continuously monitored and studied and scientists are waiting for more results from collateral analyses to understand the real cause of the event. In fact, all the animals are heavily parasited and there is evidence of a poor and/or anomalous immune response (PCB? DDT? Prey depletion?).
As it is mostly known, Morbillivirus is a virus similar to distemper which already caused at least two previous epidemics in the Mediterranean. In the past, it did not enter the Adriatic sea, but last year, a sero-positive striped dolphin stranded near to Teramo. Dolphin Morbillivirus could infect also other species.
Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae is a bacterium causing disease in fishes, but it has been reported also in human being.
Last Updated (Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:10)
Live stranding of a fin whale in Kerkennah, Tunisia
The ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat has been informed about a live stranding of a whale on the Tunisian coast in Kerkennah.
The stranded whale was a female fin whale measuring 11.7m long with a weight of about 12 tons. The “Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer” (INSTM) scientists collected some samples and have observed some external skin lesions (cause unknown).
The Tunisian-Mediterranean Environment Assciation, represented by M. Wassim CHAABANE, in quality of President, was on the spot to try to help the stranded animal. He gracefully provided us with photos.
Movie on Pelagos Sanctuary
During 2012, M. Jérôme Espla, M. Eric De Keyserand and M. Gilles Machu have made a very interesting documentary on the Pelagos Sanctuary describing cetacean species evolving within the Sanctuary as well as the threats they face and the development of activities surrounding their presence in this particular area.
The film has been showed first at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco on February 11, 2013 and has been played on France 3 Côte d'Azur, a regional French TV channel.
If you wish, you can click here to see the documentary.
Atypical mortality events along the Thyrrhenian Sea Italian coastline
Starting from January 4, 2013, local and central Italian Authorities have been recording an unusual frequency of stranding of striped dolphin specimens (Stenella coeruleoalba) along the Italian coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
To date, 42 stranding events have been recorded variously distributed in Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Calabria and Sicily coasts.
The Permanent Secretariat was advised by the Italian Focal Point, Dr. Oliviero Montanaro who sent the preliminary report drawn up by CERT, MMMTB and BDS.
The ACCOBAMS Scientific Bodies and Parties have been immediately informed to request them for any concerning similar events possibly occurred along the Tyrrhenian Riparian States coastline.
Last Updated (Friday, 15 February 2013 10:48)
Almost 10 years after its entry into force, ACCOBAMS Agreement has matured and the time has come to see whether the invested efforts resulted in desired outcomes and how to adapt it and strategically plan further work.
In this regard, the Fourth Meeting of the Parties to ACCOBAMS (Monaco, 9-12 November 2010) adopted Resolution 4.24 (english, french) which focuses on the development of a Strategy for the next 10 years period using the participatory approach. During this process, a need for synergy with other relevant strategic planning processes was taken into account.
Currently, the focus is directed towards a wider public consultation. The draft ACCOBAMS Strategy, including comments received from both the Scientific Committee and the Bureau, is published here below.
before February 25th, 2013.
The draft ACCOBAMS Strategy,which will include the comments received, will be presented at the next ACCOBAMS Extended Bureau Meeting (Monaco, 7-8 May 2013) and subsequently at the Fifth Meeting of the ACCOBAMS Parties (Tangier - Morocco, November 2013).
Last Updated (Monday, 28 January 2013 15:35)
EU Accession to the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution
Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil
Please find attached a press release issued today by UNEP MAP on the accession of the European Union to the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil
Ongoing seismic survey work in the area of the Hellenic Trench
Statement from the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee concerning
the ongoing seismic survey work in the area of the Hellenic Trench
The ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee has been informed by several NGOs about a programme of seismic survey work scheduled to take place in the region of the Hellenic Trench including in international waters and reported to be starting early November. Unfortunately, details of this have not been received by the Secretariat and we do not know the details of the scale, methods or any planned mitigations. This region constitutes an area of critical habitat for the endangered Mediterranean sperm whale, whose population only numbers a few hundred individuals at best, and which, as a deep diving species, may be strongly affected by the loud noise used in such surveys. Sperm whales are an important international resource. The Hellenic Trench is also an important habitat for Cuvier’s beaked whale, another particularly vulnerable species, and the bottlenose dolphin, striped dolphin, common dolphin and Risso’s dolphin are also found there. This is an area which ACCOBAMS has proposed should be designated as an Area of Special Importance/MPA because of its cetacean populations.
The Scientific Committee therefore calls on all those involved in the planned surveys to provide information to the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee and take urgent precautionary action to protect the local cetaceans and offers its expertise to the relevant Greek authorities and the companies involved.
In particular, the Scientific Committee draws the attention of those involved to the ACCOBAMS guidelines for seismic surveys, including the deployment of visual and acoustic marine mammal observers empowered to require the shut-down of airguns if cetaceans are detected within the prescribed zone and urges:
In addition, there should be a full and transparent Environmental Impact Assessment.
Marine Science Review
The last edition of the Marine Science Review is out (August 23rd, 2012).
This time its topics evolve around "Contaminants and Pollution: Underwater noise".
Click here to access the webpage concerned and to check the articles.