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Tethys Research Institute
Cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea
Founded in 1986, the Tethys Research Institute is a NGO specialized in cetacean research. Exclusively based on autonomous fundraising, Tethys has generated one of the largest datasets on Mediterranean cetaceans and over 200 scientific contributions.
Tethys first conceived and proposed the creation of the Ligurian Sea Pelagos Sanctuary, based on extensive information collected in the field.
Data collected by Tethys since 1990 in the Corso-Ligurian-Proven├žal basin contributed to show that fin whales are endemic in the Mediterranean.
On November 25th 1999, Italy, France and Monaco signed the Agreement that officially gave birth to the Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary.
Tethys has conducted longitudinal studies of bottlenose dolphins in the northern Adriatic Sea since 1987, and on both common and bottlenose dolphins in the eastern Ionian Sea.
Following a proposal made by Giovanni Bearzi (the President of Tethys) in 2003, the Mediterranean Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) population was listed as "Endangered" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
How does Tethys study and help whales and dolphins?
Research methods used by Tethys included remote sensing and telemetry, relative abundance and line-transect population studies, the combined use of laser range-finding binoculars and GPS to passively track and record the horizontal movements of whales, bioacoustic research, photo-identification and behavioural sampling, remote biopsy sampling for genetic and toxicological analyses, and historical research.
Tethys manages one of the largest collections of scientific literature on cetaceans in Europe, currently including 15,000 entries. Comprehensive reviews of Mediterranean fin whale and common dolphin populations were produced.
Tethys is a "partner" to the UNEP's Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS).
Tethys owns photographic archives exceeding 50,000 cetacean images, that have resulted in the identification of over 1,200 individuals of seven Mediterranean species. This expertise has granted to Tethys a role as regional coordinator for the EC-funded Europhlukes project.
Whale and Dolphin Field Courses
Participants are involved in all activities conducted in the field, including whale and dolphin sightings, data collection at sea with advanced methodologies, and informal lectures held by Tethys researchers.
Join the 2006 Tethys Field Courses!Join the 2006 Tethys Field Courses!

Click the link above or the images to learn more
Join the 2006 Tethys Field Courses!


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