Density and abundance estimates of cetaceans in the Black Sea: The results of the ASI/CeNoBS aerial survey now published


Three species of cetaceans, all represented by local subspecies, inhabit the Black Sea: the Black Sea common dolphin Delphinus delphis ponticus, the Black Sea bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus ponticus, and the Black Sea harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena relicta. Their populations are threatened by multiple factors, including overfishing of their prey, bycatch, pollution and epizootics. In 2019, in cooperation and with support from the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS), within the framework of the ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative (ASI), a systematic study was carried out under the Support MSFD implementation in the Black Sea through establishing a regional monitoring system of cetaceans (D1) and noise monitoring (D11) for achieving GES – EU CeNoBS Project. Six strata in the waters of Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Türkiye and Ukraine, covering most of territorial and offshore waters and 52% of the total Black Sea area, were surveyed between June 19 and July 4, 15 days at good weather conditions. A total of 7,324 kilometres of transects were surveyed recording a total of 1,744 cetacean sightings.


This first synoptic aerial survey for cetaceans in the Black Sea yielded comprehensive data and the first robust insights on global abundance, distribution and density for all three cetacean species, as well as strengthened the collaboration of cetacean scientists within and beyond the Black Sea.


 The full paper (open access) can be found at:

Paiu R-M, Cañadas A, Dede A, Meshkova G, Murariu D, Amaha Ozturk A, Popov D, Tonay AM, Timofte C, Kopaliani N, Gol’din P and Panigada S (2024) Density and abundance estimates of cetaceans in the Black Sea through aerial surveys (ASI/CeNoBS). Front. Mar. Sci. 11:1248950. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2024.1248950

Full press release

17th Annual Marine Marine Mammal Necropsy Workshop: special issue on postmortem, telenecropsy & inner ear investigations

The 17th annual marine mammal necropsy workshop is organized by the Department of Veterinary Pathology (University of Liege, Belgium), in collaboration with the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics LAB (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain), the UMS Pelagis, Centre de Recherche sur les Mammifères Marins (University of La Rochelle, France), Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Germany) and the department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, (University of Padova, Italy).

The main goal of this workshop is to train experts biologists and veterinarians on the European Best Practice Document on cetaceans postmortem investigations and tissue sampling in order to gain information on possible threats for marine mammals conservation.

The number of attendees is limited to 20, in order to pair off participants under the supervision of experts in marine mammals post-mortem.

Registration fees are 240 euro and deadline for registration is May 10, 2024 by email to Thierry Jauniaux:

More information available here.

Recommendations from the Workshop on ingested marine litter monitoring and entanglement evidence in the ACCOBAMS area

The workshop on ingested marine litter monitoring and entanglement evidence in the ACCOBAMS area was convened on the 6 & 7 April 2024 in Catania, Italy. The main objective was to improve the collection of relevant data, especially from stranded cetaceans, with a specific focus on identifying best practice related to monitoring ingested marine litter and entanglement evidences in the ACCOBAMS Area.

Recommendations issued from the workshop are available for download here.