OceanExpert ID : 21943

Fondazione CIMA

(CIMA Research Foundation)


Via Magliotto 2
17100 Savona Italy




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+39 019230271




The Marine Ecosystems Department looks to understand how human activity influences marine ecosystems. Research is particularly focused on cetacean species living in the Pelagos Sanctuary, a protected marine area between France , Monaco and Italy. The researchers study these cetaceans in their natural environment, creating data series that allow them to follow cetaceans over time and to evaluate the health of their populations. The department works on establishing strategies to reduce anthropic impact s , such as reducing the risk of collision between cetaceans and boats. Special attention is dedicated to the Cuvier's beaked whale ( Ziphius cavirostris), a relatively poorly known species, since it spends long periods of time immersed underwater . The department, which has one of the most comprehensive databases on this cetacean, studies its distribution and abundance in the Mediterranean Sea, its habitat preferences and behaviour , as well as the entire population dynamics.

Main tools -Research on the ground is made possible thanks to R/V Headwind a catamaran with a low environmental impact equipped for research on big pelagic animals. The data about cetaceans, merged with oceanographic information (such as chlorophyll concentration, water temperature, stream intensity) and information describing the anthropic pressure (such as sea traffic, whale-watching boats and so on) are gathered on the Seawetra software platform developed in-house. The platform is available for monitoring and intervention planning for the safeguard of the sea. The department works with the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea Protection , the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), the Regional Environmental Protection Agencies (ARPA) and the Permanent Secretariat of Pelagos Agreement and ACCOBAMS, the agreement for the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area. The department also works with Italian, UK and US research institutes specifically for the study of Cuvier's beaked whale, and it is involved in UE INTEREGG projects.

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Created: 2021-06-24 by Paola Tepsich | Last Updated: 2021-06-24