Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is one of the Mediterranean cetaceans listed in the Annex II of Habitat Directive. The main objective is the creation of a virtual corridor for monitoring and surveillance of the transient and resident bottlenose dolphins. Concrete conservation actions take place in the Portofino MPA (Italy). We show 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 are 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. We illustrate the technical details of the automatic system for bottlenose dolphins conservation and results of first ten months of observation will be reported. This study is part of the Life+ Nature Project “ARION” co-funded by the European Commission.
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