The ASI Project

During the summer of 2018 and 2019, the ACCOBAMS Secretariat coordinated the first ever large-scale survey of cetaceans in the Mediterranean and Black Seas combining visual monitoring methods – from aircrafts and boats – with acoustic detection methods targeting specifically deep-diving species.

The ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative (ASI) provided a unique opportunity to collect data on cetaceans but also on other marine megafauna species such as turtles and elasmobranchs, as well as on human activities and respective impacts, like floating litter and underwater noise. All the riparian countries of the ACCOBAMS area jointly participated in this exceptional effort along with more than 40 national and international organisations.

The ASI provided a very large source of information not only on cetaceans but also on many other marine species and anthropogenic pressures. ASI results on distribution and abundance of cetacean species throughout the Agreement Area are a valuable baseline to assess the current conservation status of these endangered species – the IUCN Red List species status was updated in 2021 – and to monitor population’s future growth or decline.

With these first large scale surveys in 2018/2019, the ASI paved the way to ensure regular and close monitoring of cetaceans and marine fauna over time. The efforts after this first successful experience are now dedicated to transform the ASI into an ACCOBAMS embedded Long Term Monitoring Programme sustaining collaborative macro regional surveys every 6 years. Organizations are invited to join, support and benefit from this joint effort for the sake of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions.


Download complete brochure


Conserving Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and adjacent areas:an ACCOBAMS status report 2021

Take a look at the video gallery & the photo gallery


Discover the video of the ASI Campaigns conducted over the summers 2018 & 2019 in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas.