Portofino MPA (Italy), instituted in 1999, is a SPAMI site since 2005. It is also a zone with a considerable population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), one of the Mediterranean cetaceans listed as “vulnerable” in IUCN Red List, which is an important fraction of the north-Western Mediterranean population. The MPA is also a zone with a high level of anthropic activities that point out as the areas where effective conservation actions are needed. Most of the threats (collisions, entanglement in fishnets, and disturbance of feeding or breeding activity) were related to the lack of knowledge of the presence and movement of individuals in the area where the anthropic activities are carried on. Since 2013 concrete conservation actions took place in Portofino MPA with ARION project; the main objective of the project is the improvement of the conservation status of the bottlenose dolphin in the area by the implementation of an interference avoidance system capable to track the dolphins, to identify threats and to prevent collisions by diffusing real time warning messages to all categories involved. Two detection units were placed one kilometer off the coast of Portofino headland. Each unit is a particular type of marine buoy (elastic beacon) equipped with four hydrophones and an acquisition system which can record the typical “social communication whistles” emitted by the dolphins and the sounds emitted by boat engines. Signals are then sent on shore, via wi-fi, and elaborated to get the real time position of dolphins and boats. Upon reception of the warnings the boats present in the area will be invited to follow a protocol of conduct supervised by the Coast Guard. This approach will improve the species protection, the sustainable coexistence of dolphins and anthropic activities and will promote responsible usage of the sea, especially in one of the most touristic marine protected area in Mediterranean Sea. First results after one year of observation are reported. It could be considered a good and useful tool of management and conservation with a particular characteristic of repeatability both inside and outside the boundaries of the MPA. The tool could be immediately applicable to many areas in the whole International Sanctuary for the Mediterranean Marine Mammals “PELAGOS”.

ARION System for coastal dolphin conservation: a tool for dolphin conservation by a real time monitoring in Portofino MPA (Ligurian Sea) 

Alessi J;Bianchi C;Bozzini G;Brunoldi M;CASALE, ALESSANDRA;Grosso D;Mandich A;Morri C;Taiuti Mg;Wurtz M.
2014

Abstract

Portofino MPA (Italy), instituted in 1999, is a SPAMI site since 2005. It is also a zone with a considerable population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), one of the Mediterranean cetaceans listed as “vulnerable” in IUCN Red List, which is an important fraction of the north-Western Mediterranean population. The MPA is also a zone with a high level of anthropic activities that point out as the areas where effective conservation actions are needed. Most of the threats (collisions, entanglement in fishnets, and disturbance of feeding or breeding activity) were related to the lack of knowledge of the presence and movement of individuals in the area where the anthropic activities are carried on. Since 2013 concrete conservation actions took place in Portofino MPA with ARION project; the main objective of the project is the improvement of the conservation status of the bottlenose dolphin in the area by the implementation of an interference avoidance system capable to track the dolphins, to identify threats and to prevent collisions by diffusing real time warning messages to all categories involved. Two detection units were placed one kilometer off the coast of Portofino headland. Each unit is a particular type of marine buoy (elastic beacon) equipped with four hydrophones and an acquisition system which can record the typical “social communication whistles” emitted by the dolphins and the sounds emitted by boat engines. Signals are then sent on shore, via wi-fi, and elaborated to get the real time position of dolphins and boats. Upon reception of the warnings the boats present in the area will be invited to follow a protocol of conduct supervised by the Coast Guard. This approach will improve the species protection, the sustainable coexistence of dolphins and anthropic activities and will promote responsible usage of the sea, especially in one of the most touristic marine protected area in Mediterranean Sea. First results after one year of observation are reported. It could be considered a good and useful tool of management and conservation with a particular characteristic of repeatability both inside and outside the boundaries of the MPA. The tool could be immediately applicable to many areas in the whole International Sanctuary for the Mediterranean Marine Mammals “PELAGOS”.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/783200
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