The giants of the Mediterranean Sea
With the eye reaching out to the horizon, looking at the flat and calm profile of the sea, suddenly something … At first a shadow, a sinuous profile that becomes ever sharper. The emotion you feel when admiring a cetacean, dolphin, sperm whale, humpback whale, or bottlenose dolphin offshore, does not matter … not everyone can boast of having lived this wonderful experience!
It is undeniable that cetaceans are among the most charismatic living beings in the Mediterranean Sea, but we must also be aware of their very important ecological value. Together with pelagic sea turtles, they are defined as bioindicators of marine health, precisely because their well-being reflects the integrity of the marine ecosystem in all its components, animal, plant and non-living.
Unfortunately, studying and having structured information for these wonderful mammals and reptiles is really difficult in logistical and economic terms. Try to imagine what it means to find an animal (perpetually on the move) in an environment of 2,500,000 km2 and follow it in its movements for weeks, months or even years!
It is for this reason that Triton has begun to make contact with the major experts in the field to collaborate in the success of a project that can help us to know more about these wonderful animals, following and studying them in their movements, behavior and population dynamics to protect them and safeguard them.
With their transboundary movements, they are in fact exposed to multiple factors that threaten their survival, such as maritime traffic and marine litter. Maritime traffic is responsible for:
💧 submarine noise, which makes it difficult for animals to orient themselves in their movements, which consist of hundreds of thousands of kilometers;
💧 pollution, from ship accidents (indirect) or by voluntary release of waste into the sea (direct) in which animals can become trapped or ingest them and become intoxicated;
💧 transfer of alien species (voluntary or involuntary) that changes the ecological balance between the indigenous species of the Mediterranean;
💧 disturbance to marine fauna, directly related to the risk of collisions with animals, especially during the night.