Ionian Dolphin Project
Cetaceans, Dolphins, Mediterranean monk seals, Protection of marine life, Marine research, Public awareness, Marine conservation awareness and education
Since 1991, the Ionian Dolphin Project, a project of the Tethys Research Institute, aims to ensure the long-term viability of marine mammals, dolphins and Mediterranean monk seals, living in coastal waters of the eastern Ionian Sea. Dolphins and Mediterranean monk seals inhabiting the coastal waters of Greece are facing significant threats. Some of them must deal with increasing human encroachment, while others have disappeared altogether from portions of their former range. The research is concentrated primarily in these three Natura 2000 areas: the Inner Ionian Sea Archipelago (common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Mediterranean monk seals), the Gulf of Ambracia (bottlenose dolphins), the waters surrounding the islands of Paxoi and Antipaxoi (bottlenose, common and striped dolphins). Their work includes: continued monitoring of marine mammals through field research methods; monitoring threats to local marine ecosystems (pollution and overfishing); public awareness, education and capacity building initiatives; establishing synergies with stakeholders aimed to raise awareness on the need of developing measures to protect marine mammals and implement existing regulations; dissemination of information in the scientific literature and delivery of management proposals to international agreements and bodies concerned with the protection of marine biodiversity.