A fin whale’s heart is the size of a small car.
Each dolphin has its own signature sound.
Cetaceans, as higher predators and animals that live for many years, bioaccumulate chemical pollution in their bodies from the whole food web.
Equipped with our knowledge, scientific evidence and the support of experts from Greece and around the world, we have a steady presence in the sea and intervene on the political level, proposing solutions for the effective protection of these charismatic species. In 2018, we participated, along with researchers from throughout the Mediterranean, in aerial and ship-based research surveys on cetaceans and other marine megafauna, recording species’ presence and distribution, as well as human activities, in Greek seas. Which species swim in which areas? At what locations are there problems such as large quantities of plastic pollution and nets?
Through this research, we gained a clearer picture of Greece’s seas, and mainly from the Hellenic Trench, the arch extending from the Ionian to Rhodes, and on which we have decided to focus our efforts. Thus, at the 5th International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas – which we co-hosted in Messinia in 2019 – we globally promoted the Hellenic Trench’s importance and the major threats it is currently facing.
Today, we provide a steady flow of scientific data on the species living in the Hellenic Trench, prioritising their protection in our fight to halt the plans for hydrocarbon extraction . With regard to the risks caused by shipping, year by year we have managed to build synergies with international organizations, research centres and representatives of the shipping sector. We have focused our efforts on the development and establishment of the necessary mitigation measures, with the ultimate goal of reducing collisions between vessels and species such as sperm whales.
How many of us know what to do when we see a cetacean at sea or on the coast?
But we are also focused on responding to the threats related to fishing activities, working to assess the magnitude of these threats and propose tangible and realistic measures to reduce them.
Finally, on the level of policy interventions, we submit science-based proposals to the Greek state so that it can take horizontal management measures to ensure the protection of these species through effective marine protected areas and regulate human activities outside these areas.
By keeping these majestic creatures alive, we are keeping our seas alive! But to do this, we need your support.